Baked Apple Dumplings
It seems that lately I’ve been on a roll with pie making. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve followed along as I’ve gone from strawberry-rhubarb to blueberry to mulberry pies, to the easy jam tart I posted about a few weeks ago, and back to pie made with five different varieties of apple, all in keeping with what fruits are currently available at my local orchards. Once September hits, much of summer’s bounty doesn’t linger too long into the autumn months - but apples are one fruit that is plentiful until winter arrives. You can always find something to do with them; at the top of my list again are these baked apple cider doughnuts from a couple years ago. But of course, I always like to try new things as well!
A friend of mine made these delicious whole apple dumplings a few years back, and I’m finally getting around to trying them for myself. Armed with a few dozen apples from our apple picking adventure over the weekend, I was ready to roll up my sleeves and get baking. Although they take a bit of work, the results were worth it – and if you have pie crust dough you’ve already made ahead of time and frozen, all the better. Not to mention, the scent of apples and cinnamon mingling together always makes the house smell so warm and inviting – a sure invitation to cozy up to autumn.
For this recipe, I used Honeycrisp apples, but you can use any good baking apple that you prefer. Feel free to make the recipe your own using your favorite spices and filling combinations as well. Top the warm, fresh from the oven dumplings with vanilla or maple ice cream or some fresh cream, and enjoy a delightful taste of fall. Happy baking!
For the pastry:
- 1 recipe pie crust (makes twice the amount you will need for this recipe)
For the filling (makes enough for 4 dumplings):
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 8 Tbsp caramel bits, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, dried currants, dried apricots, or a mixture thereof
For the basting “sauce:”
- 4 Tbsp butter, melted
- 4 Tbsp pure maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Divide one half the pie crust dough into four pieces, and then roll each piece into a square, about 1/4″ thickness.
Peel each apple and remove the cores. Then, using a paring knife, widen the opening of each apple another 1/4″ or so to make room for more filling. Dice the apple pieces from the center and set them aside to add to the filling.
Place each prepared apple in the center of one square of pastry and ensure that the dough will cover over the top of the apple. Trim any extra and save the pieces to make decorations, if desired.
To make the filling, toss all of the filling ingredients together in a small bowl, along with the reserved apple pieces. For each apple, fill with the mixture and then pull the four corners of the pastry dough to the center. Brush with a bit of water as needed to help the pieces stick together, and then press down on the sides so that they don’t stick out too far. Use a bit of water to secure any decorations on top of the pastry-wrapped apples.
Place each dumpling in an oven-proof dish and brush the dough with the basting sauce. Bake 10 minutes, and then brush again. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and return the apples to the oven to bake an additional 40 minutes, (or until a toothpick inserted in the side of one of the apples indicates that they are tender), removing the dumplings to baste with the sauce every 10 minutes.
Once tender, remove the dumplings from the oven. Serve warm.
Categories: desserts & sweets