Americans will find these golden brown dumplings intriguing to look at as well as delicious to eat. Few Austrians would serve them with fresh strawberry sauce, but it makes sense to today’s palates.
Farmer’s Cheese Dumpling Dough
¾cupall-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
1 large egg, at room temperature
2tablespoonsunsalted butter, at room temperature
Grated zest of 1lemon
pinch of salt
To make the dough: Using a rubber spatula, press the cheese through a coarse-meshed wire sieve into a medium bowl. Add the flour, egg, sugar, butter, vanilla, zest, and salt. Using a handheld electric mixer on medium speed, beat to form a soft dough. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Cut 6 strawberries lengthwise into quarters and set aside. Puree the remaining strawberries with the 3tablespoons granulated sugar and the lemon juice. Pour the sauce into a bowl, cover, and set aside at room temperature.
On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough into a thick log, kneading in more flour as needed to make a dough that doesn’t stick to the surface. Cut the log into 12 pieces. Working with one piece of dough at a time, pat into a 3½-inch-diameter disk. Place 2 strawberry quarters and a sugar cube (or ¼teaspoon sugar) in the center of the disk. Wrap the dough around the fruit and sugar to enclose, and roll between your palms to form a ball. Place on a lightly floured kitchen towel on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, strawberries, and sugar cubes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. One at a time, add the dumplings and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook at a steady simmer until the dough is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the dumplings to a baking sheet lined with a clean kitchen towel to drain briefly.
While the dumplings are cooking, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring often, until crisp and golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, place the dumplings in the skillet of crumbs and turn to completely coat the dumplings. Cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, until the crumbs have recrisped, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer 2 or 3 dumplings to dessert bowls, drizzle with the strawberry sauce, sift with confectioners’ sugar, and serve immediately.