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baked apple dumplings with cider sauce

October 13, 2010
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A few years ago, I made these awesome things called apple dumplings. I don’t even know where the recipe came from, but basically, you replaced the core of a peeled apple with a lot of cinnamon and sugar, wrapped it in pie dough, and baked it until it was ridiculous. They were so delicious, and they even looked pretty, perfect little mounds of apple and dough. I vowed to make them again. But I didn’t.

Recently, I came across Cook’s Country’s take on baked apple dumplings, and I remembered my mission. So after we went apple-picking last weekend, I knew what I had to do. (No, really, Cook’s Country is good. Have I told you that yet?)

So, this version of the recipe has its ups and downs. Pros: the dough was delicious, and the cider sauce drizzled on top was easy and completely key. Cons: because the dough was more biscuit than pie, it was a pain to deal with; the baking time was less than half of what the original recipe called for, and though the outsides of the dumplings were all golden and pretty, the apples were basically still uncooked and the dough was still a little, um, doughy. Next time, I think I’ll make some kind of hybrid of the two—maybe the old dough and baking time with the new sauce? And with some mutant powers thrown in just for funsies.

Baked Apple Dumplings with Cider Sauce
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
15 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled [I used it right out of the freezer—also, the original recipe called for 10 tablespoons butter and 5 tablespoons shortening, but ummm no.]
3/4 cup cold buttermilk
FILLING [The original recipe called for half these amounts, but my old recipe called for much more filling and I’d read on The Bitten Word that this wasn’t enough, sooo I doubled it.]
12 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 Golden Delicious apples
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 cup apple cider
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. To make the dough, process flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in food processor until combined. Scatter butter over flour mixture and pulse until mixture resembles wet sand. Transfer to bowl. Stir in buttermilk until dough forms. [I just added the buttermilk straight to the food processor and pulsed it a bit more. Enough with the unnecessary dishes, Cook’s Country!] Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead briefly until dough is cohesive. Press dough into 8-by-4-inch rectangle. Cut in half, wrap each half tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Add butter and mix to combine. Peel apples and halve through equator. Remove core with melon baller or teaspoon measure and pack butter mixture into each apple half.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough half into 12-inch square. Cut each 12-inch square into four 6-inch squares. Working one at a time, lightly brush edge of each dough square with egg white [whoops, skipped that step] and place apple, cut-side up, in center of each square. Gather dough one corner at a time on top of apple, crimping edges to seal. Using paring knife cut vent hole in top of each dumpling. [Didn’t do that, either.]
4. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange dumplings on prepared baking sheet and brush tops with egg white [nope]. [The original calls for you to save some of the cinnamon-sugar mixture before mixing in the butter and to sprinkle it over the tops right now, so if you’re feeling fancy, go for it. However, the original also calls for granulated sugar instead of brown sugar, which might work better for sprinklage.] Bake until dough is golden brown and juices are bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 10 minutes.
5. To make the sauce, bring cider, water, sugar, and cinnamon to simmer in saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until thickened and reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Drizzle over dumplings and serve.

Source: adapted from Cook’s Country

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