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Apple Dumplings- probably my best recipe of all time!

This is honestly probably my best recipe I make! Everyone loves them and they just remind me of the Fall so much! Hope you like them if you try them!

Apple Dumplings
Paraphrased from the Topeka Capital-Journal, United Methodist Women at Tecumseh United Methodist Church

Jonathan apples, peeled and cored

Dough
3 cups flour
1 t. salt
1 1/3 cups shortening
1 egg, beaten
5 T. cold water
1 t. white vinegar

Topping
1⁄2 cup sugar
1 1⁄2 t. cinnamon

butter

Syrup
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
3 T. butter
1⁄4 t. cinnamon

For dough: Mix salt and flour and cut shortening in until it is crumbly. Mix egg, cold water, and vinegar together and add this mixture to shortening mixture, kneading until it forms a smooth ball. Should be enough dough for 9 medium apples.

For each dumpling: Roll out a portion of the dough large enough to make about a 9-inch circle. Place apple in the center of the circle. Mix sugar and cinnamon together to make the topping, and fill each cored apple with a heaping teaspoon of the mixture. Dot top of core with a tablespoon of butter (I never do a tablespoon, probably more like a teaspoon.) Bring the dough up around the apple and seal together at the top of the apple.

For syrup: Mix sugar, water, butter, and cinnamon in a saucepan and bring to a boil; let simmer for approximately 3 minutes.

Place dumplings in a baking dish so that they aren’t touching each other. Pour syrup mixture in pan, but not on top of the apples. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour until dumplings are lightly browned and the apples are very tender.

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  1. this is great timing as I've been craving apple dumpings even though I've never made them. Actually, come to think if it... I don't think I've even ever had them before. Who knew it was possible to crave something you've never even had?

    question... so you don't fill the whole cored cavity with mixture, right? What would happen if you tried to fill it with the syrup?

    3 Replies
    1. re: adamclyde

      Well... confession, I usually *do* fill up the cavity with the cinnamon and sugar, which usually means I have to make more! (I only do this when my mom is not in the kitchen and my dad and I are by ourselves! We usually make them on the holidays and my mom can be a bit of a control freak when it comes to following recipes! ;-) I'm not sure what would happen if you filled up the cavity with the syrup... I'm not sure if it would get too soggy or not?

      1. re: Katie Nell

        Ohh! I love apple dumplings! Your recipe is similar to mine. I fill up the cavity with cinnamon, sugar, and raisins. The raisins are a nice little surprise for the person eating the dumpling.

        1. re: zorra

          Yeah, that would probably be grounds for divorce in our house!! ;-)

    2. Thanks so much. STill have lots of apples left- will try the dumplings this weekend. LAst weekend I made the Barefoot Contessa Apple Crisp. It was really good, but I think next time I will cut back a bit on the sugar, as it was a bit sweet.

      3 Replies
      1. re: macca

        Just a warning... these dumplings are pretty sweet, but I am a sweets freak! They are the only substitute my dad will accept for an apple pie at Thanksgiving!

        1. re: macca

          A side note: i believe the barefoot contessa's apple crisp recipe has been discussed in a previous post about being too sweet. It's true. I made it recently and I think cut the white sugar down by half and it was delicious as is. Just goes to show you don't really need all that sugar. Otherwise that recipe is perfect.

          1. re: twentyoystahs

            Wished I had seen the post before I made it! It was too sweet for me, but the orange and lemon flavors were still discernable, so I am sure it would be perfect with less sugar. The kids liked it, though- piled high with fresh whipped cream! I will cut it by half next time.

        2. This recipe sounds delicious, thank you. I've wanted to make apple dumplings for years but until this recipe, was always scared off by how complicated they sound.

          Question: did you really mean to roll a 9 inch circle of dough for EACH dumpling? That seems a lot of dough, almost the size of a pie crust for an entire pie, not just one apple. Given you say the recipe makes enough dough for 9 apples, I'm wondering if the 9" circle recommended for each individual dumpling is correct? Seems you might end up with a lot of dough at the top of the apple, if it is.

          But thank you.....it sounds great, and clearly, is.

          2 Replies
          1. re: rgallica

            That's what the original instructions say, but I'm sure my circles aren't 9 inches exactly! I usually just divide the dough into portions for the number of apples I have... I figure sometimes my apples are smaller or larger, so I just eyeball it. I probably roll out the dough to have the apple in the middle and have about 3 inches on all sides... there usually is a little bit of extra dough at the top, but not a lot. The one year that my grandma bought some from the church (they sell them every year) the apples they had were huge! Mine usually come from a local apple farm and can be very little.

            1. re: Katie Nell

              Thank you...."just eyeball it" the sound of a baker who's not only experienced, but enjoying herself. Thanks for the recipe, and for making it sound feasible, besides delicious.

          2. can these be put together ahead of time (say an hour or two) and then baked while we eat dinner?

            1 Reply
            1. re: DGresh

              Oh definitely... I've done them the night before and then baked the next day! The apple doesn't look so pretty after that, but no one can tell after they're baked.

            2. Well I just put them together and have a couple comments; I was making 4 apples, so decided to halve the recipe; that was a mistake; I guess my apples are big, so I ended up making another half recipe. I used the full recipe of sugar filling for (what ended up being 5 ) apples. I also found it very helpful to refrigerate the dough for a half hour or so; it was hard to handle other wise. I also rolled it out on floured wax paper, then flipped it over and peeled it free so that when the time for wrapping the apple came, it would lift free easily.

              They look very good, and I'm looking forward to having them for dessert tomorrow (and the fifth one for my breakfast :))

              1. Katie, thank you for a great recipe. I made them tonight and the whole family loved them. I've never made apple dumplings before, or really even enjoyed them. Guess I never had the right ones ;)

                1 Reply
                1. re: UnConundrum

                  Great! So glad you liked them! There's something so comforting about them, I think!

                2. sound great, will add to my to do list

                  1. Katie Nell, you're the Chowhound baking guru!

                    I'll have to try this recipe too. But I'm in England and don't have access to Jonathan apples. Could you describe what they're like so that I can find a good substitute? Are they more Macintosh, or more Granny Smith, or more Red Delicious?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Kagey

                      I don't know about that!! I just like to bake, and I like that there is almost always an exact recipe to bake from... I'm a better baker than cooker, that's for sure!

                      I'm not really sure on the type of apple... maybe Macintosh? I think a Granny Smith would be too tart and the red delicious not enough taste? Maybe someone else will know better!

                      1. re: Katie Nell

                        I actually think a granny smith would be pretty good for it. It holds its shape well and the tartness would be more than offset by the loads of cinnamon and sugar. Golden delicious would probably be a great balance of tart and sweet. You'd want a good baking apple that holds some shape. Macs, I've found, break down considerably, which makes them great for applesauce, but I don't like them that much in pies and stuff...

                        hope that helps.