Asparagus Dumplings (Spargel Schlutzkrapfen)
Dumplings, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Asparagus Dumplings (‘Spargel Schlutzkrapfen’)

2 comments

Schlutzkrapfen are a special kind of dumpling that originated in Tyrol, Austria. They are usually filled with vegetables rather than meat. These asparagus dumplings are a real treat in the springtime and my last asparagus recipe for this year as the asparagus season in Germany is about to end in a few days.

It’s undeniable that Schlutzkrapfen were inspired by Italian ravioli. However, they are not the same. As you might’ve noticed from the recipe picture, the dumpling skins have an unusual brown color. That is because the noodle dough is made from a mixture of rye and wheat flour.

Austrian people are not as generous when it comes to putting eggs into their noodle dough as the Italians. While in Italy some recipes even go as far as using only the egg yolks to make the dough, in Austria the dough is usually a mixture of eggs and water. Eggs have once been a valuable ingredient that could be sold by farmers to make money so that they have been used only sparingly.

Cutting out dumpling wrappers with a cup
Dumpling skins

I highly recommend you use a pasta machine to roll out the dough sheets. It’s much easier and faster than rolling out the dough by hand. For Schlutzkrapfen, the dough should be rolled out very thin. It should almost be transparent.

While it is common to pleat dumplings in Austria, I don’t think it’s a necessity. Yes, it looks pretty but it takes a lot of time. I just pinch the ends together in a half-moon shape and that’s it. However, you are free to pleat them however you prefer. It doesn’t improve the taste but the look.

Spreading the filling on the wrapper
Spargel Schlutzkrapfen before blanching

How to prepare the filling for asparagus dumplings

The filling for these asparagus dumplings is super easy and quick to prepare. It’s important that you chop the asparagus very finely. You don’t want any large pieces inside your dumpling. Also, don’t blanch the asparagus for too long. I like it if the asparagus still has a little bite.

I specify to mix the asparagus with topfen (quark). I know that this ingredient is hard to source outside of Germany. However, you can substitute it with Italian ricotta cheese. Just make sure to squeeze out the excess moisture of the cheese as the filling will otherwise be watery.

If you live in Austria or Southern Germany you can also use ‘Bröseltopfen’. That’s a low moisture topfen. You don’t need to squeeze out any water if you’re using this variety of topfen.

The asparagus-topfen filling

How to serve Schlutzkrapfen

These dumplings are lightly pan-fried after blanching which is a major difference to Italian ravioli which usually don’t get seared in clarified butter. To give the dumplings a nice sheen, I add some asparagus broth to finish the dumplings in the pan.

Pan-frying asparagus dumplings in clarified butter

It’s very easy to prepare asparagus broth from asparagus peel and trimmings. You don’t need to simmer the broth for long. About 15-20 minutes is enough to extract the asparagus flavor.

You don’t need a lot of other dishes with these asparagus dumplings. A salad or soup on the side would nicely complement the dumplings. But, of course, they can also be enjoyed with any additional side dishes.

2 Comments

  1. Michael O'Keefe

    This looks delicious. I too will miss the end of the asparagus season – and my co-worker who brings in his extras from his crop. By the way, I remember a German girl in a U.S. supermarket trying to find „quark“. We were all mystified. My Hungarian friend knew her plight and was able to help her find something similar. „While in Italy some recipes even go as far as using only the egg yolks to make the dough, in Austria the dough is usually a mixture of eggs and water.“ I guess the Hungarians are like the Italians in that manner, and myself, growing up as a thrifty New Englander, still can’t get used to when my wife tosses the egg whites! But Hungary was/is the bread basket of that part of the continent…

    • Yes, I also can’t justify tossing the egg whites. I usually add the extra to scrambled eggs, pancake batter, or meatballs.

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