September 6, 2010

Pennsylvania Dutch Recipes

The cooler weather the last several days has given me "fall fever" which is not a good thing since the hot weather is said to be returning soon!  One of my favorite things about fall is Snitz and Knepp (Schnitz un Knepp).  Of course, I can eat this comfort meal any time of the year, but I associate it with fall, probably because of the apples in it.

Let me tell you about  Snitz and Knepp!  It  is a Pennsylvania Dutch Recipe consisting of dried apples (the snitz/Schnitz) and flour dumplings (the knepp), so it translates "Apples and Dumplings." 

To make Snitz and Knepp, you start by cooking two pounds of ham covered in water for about two hours. Add 2 cups of dried apples (that’s the snitz/schnitz) that have been soaked in water overnight. Also add the water they were soaked in. Add 2 1/2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Make sure there’s still enough water to cover.

Then you  make the dumplings (the knepp). Mix 2 cups flour, 4 tablespoons baking powder, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup milk to make dumplings. Drop by spoonfuls into the boiling ham, apples, and liquid. Cover the pan and cook for 15-20 additional minutes. (This is when my mother would shoo me out of the kitchen because, as a little girl, I always wanted to lift the lid and peek, which is a "knepp no-no"!)

Serve and enjoy, being sure to include some ham, snitz, and knepp in each bite!

When I make Snitz and Knepp, I use smoked sausage instead of ham, simply because my mother made it with sausage and that is how I like it.  I usually don't have dried apples on hand, so I just use fresh tart apples, peeled and sliced.

I grew up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and my heritage is Pennsylvania Dutch.  The Pennsylvania Dutch today are descendants from German-speaking immigrants. The "Dutch" does not mean we are Dutch people from the Netherlands. Rather, the German word for German is "Deutsch." So we are really Pennsylvania Germans or Deutsch.  You can see how the "Deutsch" ended up being "Dutch".  So Pennsylvania Germans are called Pennsylvania Dutch!

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