Friday, 26 March 2010

Apple Dumplings

I haven't made, or had, apple dumplings in ages. They are one of those things that sounds good in theory but the reality is often too big and too doughy. Still... a good apple dumpling is a real treat. I used the same pastry that I used for Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuity Crust, and wrapped half apples and raisins in it. I also didn't worry about getting the pastry all the way up over the top of the apple, in order to keep the amount of pastry down to a dull roar.

These were not wildly sweet; you could eat one for breakfast as easily as for dessert. I made them without adding any sugar to the dough. If you want them sweeter you could add the sugar, or perhaps serve them with a sweet sauce or custard. I have to say though, I didn't miss the extra sugar. Not every dessert has to fall into the "death-by-chocolate" category.

I used two different kinds of apples for these, and one got quite soft and one stayed quite firm. You should pick a good baking type of apple accordingly. I used Empire (soft) and Red Prince (firm).

6 servings
1 hour - 20 minutes prep time

Apple Dumplings
Make the Dough:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup mild vegetable oil
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups soft whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Let the butter sit out for a while; it should be quite soft. Blend it with the oil and buttermilk, but don't worry about the butter being lumpy. It will be.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix this into the butter mixture, until it forms a ball of dough. If it does not come together, add a few drops more of buttermilk until it does.

Pat the dough out into a rectangle on a piece of parchment paper, then roll it fairly thin, into a rectangle that is 50% longer than it is wide. Cut it into 6 equal squares.

Make the Dumplings:
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 medium-large apples
3 tablespoons raisins

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set it aside. Peel one of the apples and cut it in half. Cut out the core from each half, in a "v" shape, then clean out any core still left in the middle. Poke each piece of apple 5 or 6 times with a fork - this will help them bake through. Dip each piece of apple into the cinnamon sugar, turning to coat them thoroughly.

Place 1/2 tablespoon of the raisins on one of the dough squares, and put the half apple over them, face down. They should fit into the core section. Fold up the dough around the apple, and pinch it so it stays around it, although it won't cover it. Using a thin spatula, lift the dumpling and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining apples and raisins. Sprinkle any leftover cinnamon sugar over the tops of the dumplings.

Bake the dumplings for 35 to 40 minutes, until the pastry is browned and the apples are tender. They may get a little softer as they cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. I don't think they will keep too well, but who would know?

Last year at this time I made Applesauce Spice Cake.

1 comment:

Joanne said...

I love baked apples...definitely no need for extra sugar when they are around! These look delicious.