25 November 2013
Judy's amazing apple dumplings
I can't wait any longer, you guys, even though I haven't made these myself yet. I have to tell you about Judy's amazing apple dumplings.
I am making these for Thanksgiving and they're going to be epic.
Picture this. You get a whole apple, filled with a sweet & chewy-crunchy mixture of chopped raisins and walnuts, wrapped in its own pastry crust, smothered in cinnamon sauce, and baked until golden brown and steaming. And then you get as much pouring cream as you please. Yeah.
I first had one of these guys at Danny and Bethany's birthday party a month ago. (Yes, October is well and truly birthday month for our peer group. It is EVERYONE'S birthday.) Since these are Bethany's usual birthday dessert, her mom Judy whipped up a huge triple batch of apple dumplings for everyone. There was also a half gallon of cream on the table to serve. I'm just saying.
Of course after that I really wanted the recipe, and Judy was kind enough to oblige. Hooray! Apple dumplings for everyone!
Judy theorized that this recipe may have come originally from an old edition of Betty Crocker. Since my own early 70s copy fell by the wayside some time ago, I searched around and turned up this similar but by no means identical apple dumpling recipe. So maybe someone tweaked that version until they made it their own.
The choice of apple is important: you want to use a flavorful cooking apple that will hold its shape well, such as Mutsu, Ida Red, Honeycrisp, or Cortland. I'm going to give Honeycrisps a try and see what happens.
These can be made vegan by switching out butter and cream with the vegan butter & cream subs of your choice. Yes! You too can have an entire apple encased in pastry all to yourself! Full disclosure, however: Judy said the vegan dough she made was softer & thus more difficult to work with, so you might want to build in plenty of chilling time. Then just get some coconut cream for garnish and you should be golden.
I'm planning to make my dumplings (and maybe sauce?) Wednesday, hold them overnight in the fridge, and bake them whenever it seems most appropriate on Thursday. A dessert you can prep in advance for Thanksgiving? Yes. Let's do it.
Judy's amazing apple dumplings
(Barely paraphrased from the recipe card itself.)
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 cups water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
Combine sugar, water & cinnamon. Cook 5 minutes & add butter. (Note: after making this, I'm thinking you want to boil hard for 5 minutes to really reduce. This will keep you from ending up with pastry sog on the bottom of each dumpling.)
2 tbsp chopped raisins
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 tbsp honey
Peel & core your apples. Stuff with a mixture of raisins, walnuts, & honey.
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening (read: butter)
1/3 cup cream
Sift the flour and salt together. Cut in shortening & blend with pastry cutter. Add cream. Mix & shape into ball. Roll out on floured board. Cut into 6 equal squares.
Put a stuffed apple in the center of each piece of pastry. Sprinkle with extra sugar and cinnamon & dot with butter. Fold corners to center & pinch edges together. Put your completed dumplings in a greased baking pan and pour the cinnamon sauce over all. Bake at 375F for 35 minutes, or until pastry is browned and apples are cooked through.
Serve with as much cream as you like.