1. Wash, dry, split and stone the apricots and place 1 sugar cube in the centre of each.
2. Bring the 350 ml (12 fl oz) of water to the boil, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the water, tip the flour at one go into the boiling water and stir vigorously until the mixture forms a ball.
3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave the dough to cool slightly. Beat in the eggs one after the other.
4. While the dough is still lukewarm, shape it into a long roll and cut into as many slices as you have apricots. Flatten each slice slightly and wrap round an apricot. Leave to dry for 5 minutes.
5. Bring the 2 litres (3 1/2 pints) of water and a generous pinch of salt to the boil, add the dumplings, reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
6. Melt the remaining butter in a frying pan and brown the breadcrumbs. Drain the dumplings thoroughly, coat them in breadcrumbs and dust with icing sugar.