Thursday, October 6, 2011

As Austrian as Apfel Pie

Apfel Knodel!

The best part of MoFo is the blog feed.  Almost 700 blogs, all in one feed makes it fun to just scroll down at random times and see what there is to see.  A few days ago, I saw this:

And I couldn't believe my eyes! An Austrian blogger, Phoenix, blogging about Germknodel! (This is her picture). A childhood favorite of my husband, who had them on a ski trip to Austria when he was a boy, and has been talking about them ever since.  I had to try to make them.

Problem: I did not have the delicious prune jam, aka: the FILLING for the knodels.

So, I decided to go to the farm and get some fresh, local apples and make an apple pie type filling for the Germknodels.  When I came home, I made the dough.

I made the dough using Phoenix's recipe (which she so kindly clarified for me in the comments, if you need to know how to make the dough exactly, it is there. The only thing I would say is I think you do have to knead the dough and not just stir it before letting it rise!).  It is a very easy dough, actually.

As with all things, I used white whole wheat flour.  I can't recommend it enough.  It is a little sweeter and nuttier than regular all-purpose flour.  I cannot tolerate ap flour, it hurts my stomach, whereas the white whole wheat does not. Amazing. I use it for everything.

Here are pictures:

 The "dampfl" that Phoenix explains in the comments section.  I hope it is right!

The dough before it rises. You can see I had tried to "stir" it first, then I kneaded it. Still don't think I kneaded it enough before I let it rise.  Not sure!  It came out fine, though, so no worries I guess.

Anyway, while your dough is rising, make the filling!

Dawn's Apfel Knodel Filling:

4 large apples, peeled and chopped fairly small (I used two Honeycrisp and two Winesap, both local and low spray)
Juice from 1/2 an organic lemon
2/3 cup of organic sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder

Put everything except the arrowroot in a medium saucepan.  Heat it over medium heat, stirring gently.  Keep stirring gently so that the sugar doesn't burn.

Obviously not the whole apples :-) That was just for fun. The one on the left is the Honeycrisp, on the right is the Winesap.

OK, here is how it looks before the juices start to go.  Keep cooking it and stirring!  

After a few minutes, the apples will start to give up their delicious juices.  Once you have a good amount of juice in the pan with the apples, say after about ten or  fifteen minutes, take a coffee cup or a measuring cup and push it into the apples to collect some of the juice (about 1/4 cup of juice if you can get it, less is OK too).  Gradually whisk the arrowroot into the hot apple juice until it is all dissolved (I have a teeny tiny whisk that I use for purposes such as these).  It will be very thick in the cup, almost like a paste.  Now, pour the arrowroot mixture back into the apple mixture.  Keep stirring.  The rest of the apple liquid will congeal almost immediately.  Let it cook a bit longer, until the apples are soft.  Mine took about 25 minutes total. Two tablespoons may seem like a lot of arrowroot, but I wanted the consistency to be very gel like and not runny at all since it was going to go into dumplings to be steamed.  It worked.

OMG this filling is SOOOOOOO good. You can use this for anything, like as a topping for waffles or pancakes or as a filling for fancy pumpkin breads or whatever you like.

Now, you have to make your dumplings.  Good luck!  It's a little tricky.  Honestly, I couldn't do it the way Phoenix said to, I don't think my dough was right for that.  So, I used a Chinese dumpling filling technique that I learned on my cooking shows (thanks to Ming's mom!) and it worked well.

Here's the final product:

Now, I didn't have ground poppy seeds, so I decorated with black sesame seeds (there's that Asian influence again!).  More filling on the side, since I can never get very much inside dumplings without them coming apart.

It came out pretty well overall.

I'm sure I have bungled Austrian cuisine and mangled the German language enough for one day, so I'll get to planning my next post, whatever the heck that is going to be :-)

Have a great day (or night, depending on where you are in the world!)


  1. Oh, that looks and sounds so good! You had me at the very first picture with the saucy apple chunks... yum.

    I use white whole wheat for everything too. You're right that it has a more interesting flavor than AP flour, and it is so much healthier too... it's a magical thing.

  2. fantastic! :-) congrats to your first germknödel :-) greets from austria, smilla :-)

  3. This post totally made me drooooool!
    Looking good!

  4. This looks great! I make a German thing (which I will never remember the name of) that seems very similar. I'll have to try your linked recipe for the dough, I had trouble "vegan-izing" mine...

  5. Thanks, everyone!

    C&S, TOTALLY. WWW flour is my secret to healthy baking and cooking!

    Even if you guys don't make the germknodel, the apple filling is astounding and SO easy. I'm thinking to use the rest over waffles soon...:-)

    Marti, this was SO easy to veganize. Just EB and soy or almond milk (I used almond).

    P.S. Smilla, do you know how I can get punctuation over the "o" in knodel? I love Austrian food so looking forward to trying some of your recipes as well!

    Love to my MoFo friends!

  6. You did awesome, Dawn! And I'm terribly sorry, I'm sure it was just the cold meds talking, but I actually meant to say that you should knead the dough before letting it rest. Oops! The comment is already modified to make up for that mistake.
    Congrats on your wonderful apple whateveryoucallthem. They may not look like Knödel, but I sure hope they tasted as awesome as they look! <3

  7. Dearest Phoenix, No worries!

    I would like to call them "apple dumplings," which I thought might be something like apfel knodel?


  8. Thanks so much for your encouragement! My blog is still very new and I'm trying to get around this whole food blog community thing :) This recipe sounds delicious... I think I have to try knödel next <3

  9. Ooh these look great! And that apple filling looks just fantastic...

  10. Thanks, ladies!!!

    AND, I still can't figure out how to get the punctuation right for writing in other languages on blogger! Am I missing something obvious?

  11. Apfel is my new favorite word. Apfel. Heh. I'd love to try white wheat flour, but it seems to be elusive in my city. To be fair, I probably haven't looked that hard.

    P.S. Yum.

  12. Allysia, Have hope! I'm sure you can find the whole wheat white flour. The one I get is King Arthur (the only thing is it isn't organic). Also, Trader Joe's makes one, and I think Bob's Red Mill makes an organic one (which I have yet to try/find). It's totally worth it if you can find it!!

    P.S. I, too, love to say apfel. Apfel! :-)

  13. Really- very useful blog of food that helpful for health....
    Logo Apfel