1 cup instant potato flakes
1 cup boiling water
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
¼ tsp. salt
1 large egg
1 to 1¼ cups flour
About 12 small Italian plums or pitted prunes
ground cinnamon (optional)
2 tbsp. margarine
¾ cup fine corn flake crumbs
Mix potato flakes and hot water to make mashed potatoes. Add oil and salt. Allow to cool until lukewarm and add egg. While mixing, slowly add flour and just enough flour to form a soft dough that is not sticky. Lightly knead the dough until it is springy.
Cut each plum in half lengthwise, then remove the pit. Keep the mated halves of each plum together so they can be reassembled later. Using well-floured hands, form the dough into about 12 balls. Place the balls on a well-floured surface.
In a floured palm, pat out each ball into a circle about 1/4” thick. Set a plum half in the circle and sprinkle its cavity with sugar and a bit of cinnamon. Top it with the matching half. (If using pitted prunes, do not sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.) Bring the dough up and around the plum and pinch it tightly closed so the plum is completely covered. Place it, seam side down, on a floured surface. Gently drop the dumplings into rapidly boiling water. After one minute, nudge the dumplings gently with a spoon to make sure they don’t stick. Boil the dumplings on low heat for 12 to 15 minutes. To test for doneness, try one. The dough should be chewy but not gummy or doughy.
Coating: melt the margarine in a large skillet over medium heat. Then stir in the corn flake crumbs until completely coated and hot.
When the dumplings are cooked through, carefully remove each one from the pot with a slotted spoon, drain it very well, and gently roll it in the crumbs until lightly coated. Serve the dumplings warm, topped with cinnamon and sugar, if desired.