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Kroppkaka is a traditional Swedish dish that is made by wrapping onions and some type of pork in a mashed potato and flour mixture to form a dumpling that is boiled in water until cooked. One of the most important aspects of making kroppkaka is that the potatoes used need to be dried and aged so they contain a good amount of starch. The classic filling for the dumplings are onions mixed with ham, bacon or pancetta, although fish also can be used. A variation on the basic recipe uses half cooked potatoes and half raw potatoes to form the dumplings, giving them a distinct gray color unlike the pale white color acquired by using all cooked potatoes. Kroppkaka can be served with lingonberry jam or a bechamel sauce flavored with allspice.
The potatoes that are used to make the dough for kroppkaka need to contain a high amount of starch, which develops inside the tubers after they have been harvested, meaning that fresh potatoes cannot be used for this recipe. To start, the potatoes are boiled in water until they have cooked all the way through and are soft. They then are drained, mashed or run through a ricer until smooth and then cooled thoroughly. Depending on the recipe being used, sometimes only half of the potatoes to be used are cooked, although the uncooked potatoes also need to be mashed or run through a food mill.
The filling for a traditional kroppkaka is made from fried onions and some type of pork. Ham, pancetta or bacon can be used, or the meats can be combined so the dumpling contains a little of each. The pork and onions usually are fried together in butter and can be flavored with allspice while cooking. Like the potatoes, the filling usually is drained and allowed to cool.
To assemble kroppkaka, the mashed potatoes are mixed with whole eggs or egg yolks and flour, and kneaded into dough. A piece of dough is placed in the palm of the hand and formed into a bowl-like shape with thick walls. The cooled filling then is spooned into the dough, after which it is sealed and rolled into a ball shape. After all the dumplings have been made, they are dropped into boiling water and cooked until done.
The finished kroppkaka can be served with lingonberry jam, additional amounts of pork and onions, or a coating of bechamel sauce sprinkled with allspice. In some cases, it is preferable to eat the dumplings reheated the next day after they have cooled. This is because the process of reheating the dumplings traditionally involves cutting each ball in half and then frying them in butter until hot and crispy brown.
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