Monday, February 7, 2011

Apple Dumplings

Last night we hosted a gathering of sixteen people for supper.  These were all folks from my former workplace, with whom I like to keep in contact.  We'd been planning to have this get together in January, but it is hard to believe just how difficult it is to coordinate schedules with that many people.  Anyway the date, time and circumstances finally aligned yesterday.

Back in the good-ol'-days, as we now all refer to them, we used to cook our Sunday breakfasts and suppers at work on the weekends.  My friend Bob and I were the chefs by default, I guess.  So for a bit of nostalgia, we decided to recreate that whole scenario again, yesterday. Bob's wife dropped him off at 3:00 and we commenced to cook. 

We had discussed the menu earlier in the week, and decided on roast beef and roast pork as the backbone of the meal.  Garlic-smashed potatoes as Bob refers to them, were the starch.  You can never go wrong with oven roasted vegetables.  For an appetizer, we made stuffed jalapeno peppers wrapped in bacon.  Desert had to be either a cheesecake or apple dumplings.  My former coworkers expected nothing less.

I decided that apple dumplings would be the dessert de jour.

I've made these for quite a few years and thought it was a recipe that I would share with you today.  They aren't difficult by any means, but a little time consuming to make.  Remember too, that I had to make 16 yesterday.  A batch of eight is more the usual and that is the recipe I will give you.  Obviously you can adjust the recipe for the number of guests you have partaking thereof.


The dough:

2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp of table salt
3/4 cup of vegetable shortening ( I use Crisco or Tenderflake)
1 egg
2 tablespoons white vinegar
Ice water

In a large mixing bowl add flour, salt and shortening.

With a pastry cutter, cut the shortening into the flour, until it forms a crumbly mixture.

In a measuring cup, add the vinegar and egg.  Mix them well, then top the cup up with the ice water and mix again. 

Add the liquid to the flour/salt/shortening mix.  Mix quickly and thoroughly to a large ball.  You may have to add a little more water to make the dough stick together.

Flour your work area.  Turn the dough ball out onto the flour and dust the top of it with flour.

Roll the dough out to about a quarter inch thickness.

Cut it into eight equal sized pieces.

Pare eight apples.  I prefer Cortland or MacIntosh, because they cook down to a mush.  If you like crunchy apples in your deserts, try Gala or Spy.

Remove the cores of the apple carefully.  I have a homemade gizmo -- see photo.  Bob and I made a couple of them a few years ago, one slack Sunday morning at work. 

Place a prepared apple on each piece of dough.

Spoon two teaspoons of brown sugar into the coreholes of each apple.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Wrap the dough around the apple.  You will have to shape it and spread it out, so that it covers the whole apple.  Leave a little steam hole right at the top.

Put the prepared dumplings into a glass dish.

Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or until the crust starts to brown at the top.

The sauce:

1 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of margarine or butter
2 tablespoons water
1/4 tsp of rum flavouring

Mix the ingredients together in a sauce pan.  Heat until the mixture is boiling, stirring constantly.  It should somewhat clarify.  If it is still grainy, add a little more water.

Spoon a couple of table spoons over each dumpling and serve.  Serves eight.  I've yet to meet many folks who don't like a warm apple dumpling.

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.


  1. I remember they were yummy. I wonder if they would work with something other than the shortening. Have you tried just butter?

  2. Hi, Phil,
    I love your blog site - your recipe for Apple Dumplings - the pictures - your gardening . . .
    wish we could fill our cookbook with lots of pics - problem would be in paying for it :(

    I can hardly wait to check out the other recipes you sent in.
    rachel bushnell


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