Classic Apple Dumplings

Classic Apple DumplingsHey Dumplin’

Sometimes it feels like we get cheated here on the West Coast. For all of our fantastic weather, outdoor pursuits, great food, and amazing people, we pay a steep price—no real seasons.

Okay, we do get seasons, but it feels like two instead of four. Don’t get me wrong. I love living in the Bay Area, and I know I am lucky to do so.

But, would it be too much to ask that the temperature not be over 100 on the first day of Fall? Seriously, is a little bite in the morning air asking all that much? A few brightly colored falling leaves would be good too…

We got a brief taste of Fall a week or two ago. It was fantastic. There was a cool breeze in the air and a sweater was actually required. I was wearing one while sifting through the piles of fall-themed catalogs and magazines that keep showing up in my mailbox.

All the pumpkin spice recipes and copper kettle pictures have me longing for my boots and scarves. But, I would look like an fool wearing that when it’s 97 degrees out!

One thing I came across did stop me dead in my tracks because it screams Fall and Fall cooking:

While perusing one of the recent catalogs that arrived on my doorstep, I came across this Classic Apple Dumpling recipe—which is different than Baked Apple Dumplings recipe I posted about this time last year. So, you know I had to try it.

For me, apples and apple cider go hand in hand with fall. And I can’t think of a better way to ring in the new season, no matter how hot it is…

Classic Apple Dumplings
Adapted from King Arthur Flours

For the Dough
3 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, cold
3/4 to 1 cup milk

For the Filling
4 small apples, peeled and cored, peels reserved
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cardamom and/or ground cloves, optional

For the Syrup
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 cups water
apple peels (from above)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon boiled cider, optional, but adds to the taste
sparkling white sugar or demerara sugar, for topping the dumplings prior to baking

Prepare the Dough
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly, leaving some pea-sized pieces. (For this step you can use your fingers, a pastry fork, a blender, or a mixer.)

Sprinkle in 3/4 of a cup of milk, and stir. Add a bit more milk as needed, just until the dough comes together.

Divide the dough in half, wrap each half in plastic, and put it in the freezer to chill.

Prepare the Apples
Wash, peel and core the apples, saving the peels.

Slice the apples in half around the equator. Sprinkle the 8 apple halves with 1 tablespoon lemon juice to prevent browning, then set them aside.

Combine the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl.

Prepare 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.

Assemble the Dumplings
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan.

Remove half the dough from the freezer and turn it out onto a well-floured surface. Roll it into a 12″ x 12″ square. This will be thin.

Cut the dough into four 6″ squares.

Place an apple half, flat side down, 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 center of the apple.

Place the apple, seam-side up, in the prepared pan.

Repeat with the remaining dough and apples.

Strain the syrup to remove the apple peels. Stir in the lemon juice and boiled cider (if you’re using it.)

Pour this syrup evenly over the dumplings. Sprinkle the dumplings with the sparkling white sugar or demerara sugar.

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.

Remove the dumplings from the oven, and let them sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. (This allows the dough to firm.) Serve as is, or with vanilla ice cream.

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