This recipe has been passed down in my family for at least four generations. My great grandmother brought over this recipe when she immigrated from a village in Germany to New Jersey in 1923. My mother was the first generation to actually write it down—until then it was taught from mother to daughter and made from memory. The dumplings are hot, light, fluffy balls of dough, similar to Chinese steam buns, and the blueberry sauce is sweet and tart.
The dumplings should be hot and the sauce cool. I have never had anything like these anywhere. To me, they are totally unique. I have many treasured childhood summer memories of waking up early in the morning to make the dough, letting it rise in the sun in the backyard, and devouring oodles of steam dumplings and blueberry sauce for lunch.
The recipe takes time, but it is not difficult, and it is well worth the investment of a few hours. Once you've tasted it, you will spend the time you are waiting for the dough to rise fantasizing about eating them. You can pour the cool blueberry sauce over the hot dumplings, or you can do what I did as a little girl and poke a hole in them with a spoon, stuff them each with a spoonful of blueberry sauce, and then pour more blueberry sauce on top. - clintonhillbilly —clintonhillbilly
Test Kitchen Notes
This was delicious. The dumplings are super light and spongy and just soak up the sauce, very yummy. The texture was a bit like steamed sponge cake, even though it calls for much less egg. I'd recommend pouring a little bit of sauce at a time, clintonhillbilly is right that hot dumplings and cold sauce are a terrific contrast, but if you douse them with sauce the dumplings cool off too fast. I'll definitely make this again, maybe with other berries or fruit. - Arathi —The Editors
Add yeast to water, let stand a few minutes then stir until dissolved.
Combine scalded milk, sugar, butter, salt, and egg. Cool to lukewarm and stir in yeast mixture.
Add enough flour to make stiff dough. Cover and let rise until doubled.
Turn onto lightly floured board and knead lightly until smooth.
Roll out to 1/2-inch thickness and cut into 2-inch rounds. Cover and let rise until doubled.
Lightly grease steamer basket, cover and steam for 10 minutes.
Combine blueberries and 1/2 cup of sugar in a saucepan, and add a little water (I pass the saucepan under running water from the faucet). Bring to a boil and stir so that sugar dissolves. Simmer until blueberry juice turns syrupy and add lemon juice.
Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Chill in refrigerator while dough for dumplings rises.
Ladle blueberry sauce over dumplings as they come out of the steamer.