Sweet Jam-Filled Gnocchi

I still remember the first time I ate a dish of sweet canederli di albicocca (dumplings with apricots) in a restaurant in South Tyrol. I love savory canederli rolled in melted butter with sage and sprinkled with Parmigiano Reggiano or sometimes simply served with vegetable broth but when I saw the canederli in the dessert section of the menu, it just jumped at me and I couldn't wait to try it. It was the highlight of my lunch and I couldn't forget how good it was. The apricots were in full season and they were so good with the right touch of cooking.

Needless to say, I had to try making it at home. Using my South Tyrolean cookbook as the basis for knowing the proper way to make it, I found that instead of using bread like the classic canederli, the sweet version uses potatoes and flour just like gnocchi (dumplings) then fill them up with fruits in season. I think the best ones that would make as good fillers would be stone fruits like plums, apricots and peaches. Since I did these gnocchi recently and being winter, I couldn't find the perfect fruit to use so I filled them up instead with my favorite plum jam. Normally, the dumplings are rolled on breadcrumbs but I rolled them on crushed butter cookie crumbs that I flavored with cinnamon and freshly-grated lemon zest.

Since I am not in a restaurant and I was in the comfort of my own kitchen instead, I was not limited to just a couple or three balls. I had much more! I really loved these gnocchi and maybe even more than the ones I tried the first time in the restaurant because of the additional flavors or the cookie crumbs, cinnamon and lemon zest. With this recipe, I can't wait for the season of the stone fruits to arrive again because I would like to try it with fresh fruits that I am cooking fast with liquor. Yum!

To start off, make the dough that is composed mainly of boiled potatoes and flour. When it is compact, flatten it with the use of a rolling pin then cut the discs with a food shaper.

Place the fruit jam at the center of each disc then close them and roll to shape them to balls.

Sweet Jam-Filled Gnocchi

Yields 6-8

  • 250 grams potatoes, peeled
  • 90 grams plain cookies of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon cane sugar
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 1-1/2 cups flour, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup fruit compote or jam of your choice
1. In a pot of salted water, boil the potatoes for about 30 minutes or until very tender.
2. Using a food processor, make some cookie crumbs by grinding the biscuits to a fine consistency, then add the cinnamon, cane sugar and lemon zest. Place the crumbs on a flat plate, and set them aside.
3. When the potatoes are cooked, peel them, and then mash them using a potato ricer, or if you don’t have one, just use the back of a fork.
4. Change the water in the pot, and start boiling it to cook the gnocchi.
5. To a floured pasta board, transfer the mashed potatoes, and add 1 cup of the flour, the nutmeg, sugar, salt and egg. Mix well until you have a soft, compact dough that is not too sticky. Using the remaining flour, add more if needed. Using less flour will result in soft gnocchi, whereas using more flour will result in chewy gnocchi.
6. With a rolling pin, flatten the dough to about 1/4 inch thick, and then use a round food cutter (about 8 centimeters) to make round discs.
7. Put about a teaspoon of jam in the middle of each disc, and gather the sides to make a ball, taking extra care that the jam doesn’t leak out. Do the same with the remaining discs. Cover the gnocchi with more flour so they don’t stick to the plate.
8. Into the pot of boiling water, carefully drop the gnocchi, and cook for about 7 minutes. Do not overcrowd in the pot. Do this in batches if needed.
9. Using a slotted spoon, remove the gnocchi from the water, letting them drain well.
10. Roll them on the plate of cookie crumbs, coating them well.
11. Serve them immediately while they are still warm.
Note: When they get cold and harden, you can warm them up quickly in the microwave.

For the rest of this Sweet Jam-Filled Gnocchi recipe, get it at She Knows, a site where I regularly create recipes. To see more of my recipes, check out my Profile Page there. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

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