I’ve done us all a favor and deleted the previous 4 paragraphs. I went all tangenty about the first company I worked for and might have mentioned how they knew exactly how many times you went to the bathroom each day because you had to use a keypad to get from the cube farm to the bathroom areas. Believe it or not, that actually started as a post about apple dumplings. And so it shall be.
The cafeteria at that company served the best apple dumplings. And if you weren’t standing in line before 11:30, you were out of luck. They were softball-sized apples with the empty core stuffed with sugar, cinnamon, butter, and walnuts. Those magical ingredients were wrapped up in a flakey pie crust and just like that, you’ve got dessert for two days. Or two people.
Apple dumplings are super, super easy to make at home with a handful of ingredients. And since I’m a huge fan of crust, I think the heavy crust:apple ratio is perfect. I actually made apple dumplings for dessert the first night I cooked dinner for The Foodie Groom. Yep, I made homemade apple dumplings for a man that didn’t like apples. Wah wah waaah.
Luckily, his view of apples have changed quite a bit. I put apple dumplings on our Thanksgiving menu after seeing a similar recipe in the latest Williams-Sonoma mailer. You know, to make sure we have a baked apple dessert at both dinners
I typically use whole, medium-sized apples and fill the empty core with a butter-white sugar-cinnamon-chopped pecans/walnut mixture. But we decided that we liked what the brown sugar does for the filling and the half-apple makes the serving size a little more portion-friendly. The apple dumplings come together really quickly, especially if you take the short-cut that I did and pick up a premade pie crust. (Although making the dough from scratch will only take a few extra minutes and I think it’s easier to wrap using a homemade crust.)
Tart Granny Smith apples are baked with a cinnamon and sugar mixture inside a flaky pastry crust.
- Pie crust dough, enough for 2 standard pies (I used store-bought)
- 2 large Granny Smith Apples
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 4 Tbsp butter, softened
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 400. Spray an 8- or 9-inch dish with baking spray.
- Prepare your favorite pie crust recipe as directed. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll to a square 1/8-th inch thick.
- If using purchased crusts, unroll the crusts on a lightly floured surface, and lightly roll the crust with a rolling pin, 1-2 times in each direction to make them just a bit larger. Cut them in half.
- Peel and the core the apples and then cut them in half horizontally.
- Stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl.
- Rub the cinnamon-sugar mixture on the apples. Mix remaining sugar mixture with the softened butter.
- Place an apple in the center of a piece of pie dough. Spoon 1/4 of the butter-sugar mixture into the apple core.
- Pull the dough up around the apples gently and lightly pinch the top together into a beggar's purse. The store-bought crusts will be longer than wide - I cut off a couple inches of dough from the "long side" and just pinched it together on the "short side" to make it a more equal shape.
- Tie a piece of kitchen twine around the dough (or just crimp it really well) and transfer the dumpling to the prepared pan.
- Repeat with the remaining apples and dough.
- Whisk egg with 1 Tbsp of water and brush over the apple dumplings.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.
Yields: 4 servings
Estimated time: 45 minutes