Apple Dumplings
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Apple Dumplings, an old family favorite that is perfect in the fall when apples are at their best. My Dad loved apple dumplings, and when I was growing up my Mom would sometimes make them for dinner instead of dessert. What a treat! With a little heavy cream poured over the top these are heavenly. This is a variation on the recipe my Mom used, using a syrup with a rich combination of sugar, butter, spices and just a little lemon added, poured over whole apples filled with a butter, brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. My Mom doesn’t remember adding any decoration to her dumplings, but I think the pastry leaves add a rustic appeal.
Recipe type: Dessert | Baked Apples | Pastry
Serves: 6
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup vegetable shortening
  • 6 to 7 tablespoons ice water
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1½ cups water
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • Tip: Use a citrus juicer for freshly squeezed juice.
Fruit and Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 medium tart baking apples, such as Granny Smith Apples
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt; whisk together to mix. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut butter and shortening into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle the ice water over the mixture and toss with a fork until the dough is evenly moist and begins to come together in a mass but does not form a ball.
  2. Gently pat the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and firm, 30 to 60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare one 13x9x2 inch oblong pan; lightly grease with shortening.
  1. In a small heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and butter. Heat to boiling, boil gently for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Fruit and Filling:
  1. In a small bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon; stir until well blended.
  2. Peel the apples; remove the cores but do not go all the way through the apple, leaving the bottoms intact.
  3. Fill the cavities of the apples with the butter and sugar mixture.
  1. Remove the dough from refrigerator. Divide dough into 6 portions. Keep the dough you are not working with covered and refrigerated. On a lightly floured pastry mat or pastry board, and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out each portion of dough into a square about ⅛ inch thick. Trim edges to an 8 inch square. Save the scraps, refrigerated, for the leaf decorations.
  2. Place an apple, right side up, in the center of a dough square. Bring a corner of the dough up to the top of the apple and press it gently against the apple. Bring the corner next to it up to the top, overlapping the dough, and press it gently into place. Continue with the remaining two corners. Roll the pastry edges inward and press gently against the apple to seal the edges.
  3. Roll the dough scraps about ⅛ inch thick, and cut 36 leaf shapes, about 1½ to 2 inches long. Use the back of the knife to press lines into the dough to resemble the veining on a leaf. Lightly moisten the top of each pastry covered apple, and press the end of the leaves onto the top of the dumplings, overlapping the leaves slightly, using 6 leaves for each dumpling. Roll small pieces of left-over dough into small circles and place on top, in the middle of the leaves.
  4. Place the pastry covered apples in the prepared pan, spacing evenly. Gently spoon the still warm syrup over each apple to coat the pastry and leaf shapes. Pour remaining syrup around each apple.
  5. Bake: Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the apples feel tender when pierced with a skewer. Tip: The leaves tend to brown faster than the rest of the pastry. If getting too brown, loosely place a piece of foil over the top to prevent the pastry from over-browning.
  6. Remove from oven, place pan on a wire cooling rack to cool for 20 to 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm with heavy cream, whipped cream, or ice cream.
Recipe Notes
Pan: One 13"x9"x2" Oblong Pan Prep: Greased Oven Temp: 375° Storage: Covered, Cool Place or Refrigerate

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