During the fall season, I look forward to going to our local fruit orchard and picking some fresh apples. Once I get back home, I like to get busy baking … first up, some freshly baked apple dumplings.
The following recipe was given to me by my great aunt about 15 years ago. When I make mine, I like to make double batches and freeze some for later use.
Freezing and Reheating Tips: You can freeze your completely baked dumplings by individually wrapping each one in plastic wrap. Once they are wrapped, place several of them into a zipper close freezer bag or plastic freezer container.
When you are ready to use them, defrost in the microwave on the defrost setting for 5 minutes. Then set your microwave on 75% power and reheat for 4 to 5 minutes or until they are heated through.
Apple Dumplings Recipe
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups water
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup vegetable shortening (not oil)
1/2 cup cold milk
6 to 7 small apples or 4 to 5 large apples
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Wash, peel and core your apples. I like to slice my apples into wedges, just like if I was making a homemade pie. Place into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
How to make the syrup: In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in 2 cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes or until it has started to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir in the softened butter. Set syrup aside.
How to make dumpling dough: In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Once combined, cut in the vegetable shortening until your mixture becomes crumbly. Slowly stir in the cold milk until the dough is completely moistened. Using your hands, form the dough into a large ball. Roll out the dough on a floured dough board until it becomes a large rectangle. Once it is rolled out, cut dough into 6 to 8 squares. If your dough is a little sticky, add a little more flour.
How to make the apple filling: Add 1/3 cup of granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the slice apples. Gently stir by hand until they are well coated with the sugar mixture.
You will want to split of your filling according to how many dough squares you rolled out. In my case, I separate it into 6 to 8 portions. Place one portion of filling on the center of one of your dough squares and dot the top with a pat of butter. Moisten the edges of your dough and fold corners up to enclose your filling inside the dough.
Lightly spray a large rectangular baking dish with some nonstick cooking spray. Place your finished dumplings inside the baking dish. Using a ladle, spoon the syrup on top of all of the dumplings.
Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until they are done.