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Apple Dumplings


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An apple dumpling is a pastry filled with apple, cinnamon and occasionally raisins. Apples are peeled and cored, placed on a portion of dough, then filled with cinnamon, butter and sugar. Then the dough is folded over the apples and the dumplings are baked until tender.

Apple dumplings are a native food in the northeastern United States, around Pennsylvania. A very common recipe among the Pennsylvania Dutch, it is often eaten as a breakfast item, but they are also a very common dessert item after meals. It’s also popular to eat them with ice cream or in milk.

The are also popular in Czech cuisine.

In the UK a suet pastry is often used, although shortcrust is also common. A filling of dates, sultanas or raisins is often inserted into the cavity left by removal of the core, and dark sugar is popular there too.

 

Baked Apple Dumplings
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dumplings
Cuisine: Pennsylvania Dutch
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Older apple dumpling recipes use the stove-top for the cooking, but in this variation they're oven-baked in a quantity of liquid, which slowly reduces into a thick syrup by the time the dumplings are finished baking.
Ingredients
For dough
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (see note)
  • ¾ tablespoon baking powder (see note)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt (see note)
  • ¼ cup icing sugar
  • ½ cup cold butter
  • ¾ - 1 cup milk
For filling
  • 4 small apples, peeled and cored, peels reserved
  • ¾ tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
For syrup
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cups water
  • apple peels (from above)
  • ¾ tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¾ tablespoon boiled cider, optional, but adds to the taste
  • white sugar or demerara sugar, for topping the dumplings prior to baking
Instructions
  1. To make the dough: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar (or whisk the sugar into the self-rising flour, if you're using it).
  2. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly, using your fingers, a pastry fork or blender, or a mixer, leaving some pea-sized pieces.
  3. Sprinkle in the smaller amount of milk, and stir. Add a bit more milk as needed, just until the dough comes together.
  4. Divide the dough in half, wrap each half in plastic, and put it in the freezer to chill.
  5. To prepare the apples: Wash, peel and core the apples, saving the peels.
  6. Slice the apples in half around the centre. Sprinkle the apple halves with the lemon juice (to keep them from browning), then set them aside.
  7. To make the syrup: Combine the brown sugar, water, and apple peels in a medium-sized saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. Combine the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl.
  9. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Lightly grease a 33 cm x 23 cm pan.
  10. To assemble the dumplings: Remove half the dough from the freezer and turn it out onto a well-floured surface. Roll it into a 30 cm x 30 cm square; it'll be thin.
  11. Cut the dough into four 15 cm squares.
  12. Place an apple half on each square, and then sprinkle each with a tablespoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Moisten the edges of the square and bring them up over the apples, tucking them together in the centre of the apple.
  13. Place the apples, seam-side up, in the prepared pan.
  14. Repeat with the remaining dough and apples.
  15. Strain the syrup to remove the apple peels. Stir in the lemon juice and boiled cider, if you're using it.
  16. Pour this syrup evenly over the dumplings. Sprinkle the dumplings with the white sugar or demerara sugar.
  17. To bake the dumplings: Bake the dumplings for 45 to 50 minute, until the apples are tender and the pastry is brown. The liquid will bubble and thicken.
  18. Remove the dumplings from the oven, and let them sit for at least 10 minutes before serving; this allows the dough to firm up. Serve as is, or with vanilla ice cream, if desired
Notes
You can substitute 3 cups unbleached self-rising flour for the all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt.

 

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