These are Definitely Not My Mother’s Danish Dumplings!
My mom knew her way around the kitchen, and was willing to try lots of recipes. And our family loved her delicious soups. Occasionally she would make Danish Dumplings, which I liked, but I preferred noodles.
When I joined the Danish Lassen family, I was introduced to real Danish dumplings! I am sure the recipe my mom used had been Americanized to the point of not having much Danish left in them. This recipe comes straight from the motherland, complete with a dumpling press — a bollesprøjte — to make uniform little dumplings.
Oda’s Danish Dumplings
The Lassen family makes a delicious soup — they call it Captain’s Soup — every New Year’s Eve. The broth is a two-day process, with bones, vegetables, and seasonings. Meatballs and dumplings are made separately, and each year various people make different parts of the soup. For the last several years, my job has been the dumplings. I think this year I finally got the process down to a science, and they were the best ever.
Oda’s recipe calls for cardamom, which is very Scandinavian. You’ll love the distinct taste that cardamom brings to these dumplings!
This recipe makes 6-8 servings.
- 3/4 cup water
- 5 TBSP salted butter
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 eggs
To Make the Dumpling Dough:
- Bring the water and butter to a boil in a saucepan
- Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients together (flour, cardamom, sugar, and salt) and set aside
- Also, crack the eggs into a bowl, and set aside
- When the water/butter has come to a boil, reduce the heat and add the dry ingredients all at once
- Mix vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough holds together and is shiny
- Remove from the heat
- Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix thoroughly. The dough will break up when the eggs are added, but just keep stirring with gusto! The dough will be soft, but should hold together.
- Cool for about an hour
To Cook the Dumplings:
The Danish Dumplings of my youth were cooked right in the soup, but that’s not the real Danish way. The Danes cook the dumplings separately in salted water. This prevents the soup from having bits of dumpling broken up in the broth. It just looks so beautiful this way! So follow this procedure. It seems complicated, but the finished dumplings are tender yet hold together — delicious!
- Bring water to a slight boil in a 2-quart pot, add 1/4 tsp salt
- Put the dough in a Danish dumpling press (it’s like a cookie press), press the dough through the press and use a knife to cut the dough off in 1/2″ dumplings. If you do not have a bollesprøjte, use two spoons and drop teaspoon-sized dumplings into the water. Only put one layer of dumplings into the water at once so they cook uniformly and don’t bump into each other as they cook (I got a little carried away and added too many, as you can see in the photo above.)
- Here’s the tricky part:
- Bring the water almost to a boil and then at the point where the water is about to boil add 3-4 ice cubes to cool the water. You will do this three times.
- After the third time, use a slotted spoon to gently lift the dumplings out of the water
- Drop the dumplings in a bowl of ice water to cool quickly. While they are cooling I add the next batch of dumplings to the water
- Remove the first batch out of the ice water and drain in a colander
- Cook the rest of the dumplings the same manner
- You can refrigerate the dumplings until needed, and heat them gently in a warm oven before serving. (I wouldn’t keep them refrigerated longer than a couple of days.)
To serve, put the dumplings in a bowl, and then add hot soup.
While the Lassen family traditionally has these dumplings on New Year’s Eve, there’s no reason they can’t be enjoyed any time of the year! Now, if only we’d have some soup weather, I could make them again!