Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings

Servings: Makes 4 large apple dumplings
For a sweet or nutty surprise, spoon raisins, dried cranberries, or dried cherries into the center of each apple, or sprinkle chopped walnuts or pecans in the center of each apple before wrapping it with pastry.

For Pastry:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening or cold butter, OR 1/3 cup butter and 1/3 cup vegetable lard
6-8 tablespoons water

For Syrup:
1 2/3 cups water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon margarine or butter

For Apple Dumplings:
4 small cooking apples (such as Golden Delicious), peeled and cored
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Raisins, dried cranbierries, or dried cherries (optional)
Chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Extra ground cinnamon (optional)
Vanilla Ice Cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). You will need an ungreased 2 quart square baking dish for baking dumplings in.

In a mixing bowl stir together flour and salt. Cut in shortening or butter (or butter/lard combination) until pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push to side of bowl. Repeat until all the mixture is moistened. Continue with recipe.

*Note: If making pastry ahead, wrap dough in plastic wrap and keep refrigerated.

In a food processor, place the steel blade in work bowl. Add flour, salt, and shortening or butter (or butter/lard combination). Process with on/off turns until most of the mixture resembles cornmeal but a few larger pieces remain. With machine running, quickly add 1/4 cup cold water, through the feed tube. Stop processor as soon as all water is added. Scrape down sides. Process with 2 on/off turns (mixture may not all be moistened). Remove from bowl and continue with recipe.

*Note: If making pastry ahead, wrap dough in plastic wrap and keep refrigerated.

FOR SYRUP: In a medium saucepan combine water, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and, if desired, food coloring. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in margarine or butter. Set aside.

FOR DUMPLINGS: Prepare pastry as directed and divide dough into 4 equal portions. Form each into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. Trim each portion to an 8-inch circle. Place 1 apple in center of each pastry circle. (If desired, sprinkle raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, or chopped walnuts or pecans into the center of each apple). Combine the sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon; sprinkle over apples.

Moisten edge of pastry with water. Bring dough up around apple to resemble a bundle, pressing the edges together at the top to seal.

Place wrapped apples in ungreased 2-quart square baking dish. Sprinkle a little extra cinnamon over tops of dumplings, if desired. Pour syrup over dumplings. Bake in preheated 375 degree F (190 C) oven for 50 to 55 minutes or until apples are tender and pastry is golden, basting with syrup every 15 minutes. Let dumplings cool for about 15 minutes before serving. Place each dumpling in a serving bowl and spoon syrup over each. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Makes 4 large apple dumplings.

Source: DianasDesserts.com
Date: February 14, 2003