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What a shame! I am finally starting to get the hang of my new camera and this is my last blog for 365foods. Where did the year go?
I feel fortunate to have National Apple Dumpling Day. It is a dessert that is dear to my heart and yet I have never made it myself. My German Grandmother and Mother fed me many apple dumplings over the years. Along with baked apples, apple cake and apple sauce, I can definitely state that anything baked with apples and served with vanilla ice cream is a comfort food. Especially a fall comfort food.
The name “Apple Dumpling” is a misnomer when you think of all the other ancient dumplings served across the planet. The term dumpling is used to describe dough that is boiled or steamed (think matzo balls or dim sum), not a fruit pilled pastry baked in the oven. An apple dumpling is really an individual apple pie or a second country cousin to tarte aux pommes. After a quick search I found that Eliza Acton started wrapping apples in dough and boiling them in 1849. (Who Eliza was, exactly, I do not know). And I also know that the Pennsylvania Dutch Amish like to eat apple dumplings for breakfast. Trust me, eating apple dumplings for breakfast is pure genius. What I also discovered is there are many variations on the apple dumpling theme. So I decided to customize my first apple dumpling baking experience and here is what I decided on:
For the Crust:
1 c. butter – cold and cut into cubes
2 c. flour
2 tsp. sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 c. cold water
1.5 tbsp of lemon juice
Mix flour, butter, sugar, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Cut in the cold butter until pea size. Add egg, water and lemon juice and work the dough until just smooth. Chill dough while you prepare the apples.
For the syrup (I stole from Martha Stewart):
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar 2 cups clear apple juice 2 tablespoons honey 1/2 cup Armagnac, or brandy 1/4 cup pure maple syrup 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice Combine all syrup ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until liquid has reduced a little, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat; set syrup aside.
Read more at Marthastewart.com: Baked Apple Dumplings Recipe – MarthaStewart.com
For the apples:
Peel and core 6 apples. I used granny smith which are nice and tart and bake well. Make up a mixture of cinnamon, brown sugar, golden raisins, pecans.
Preheat the oven to 450F.
Divide the chilled dough into 6 portions and roll out a portion to about 8″ round. Set an apple on it (it helps to cut the bottom flat when you peel it so it stands up) and fill (I like to stuff) the centre with the sugar and raisin mixture. Sprinkle the pastry with a little sugar/cinnamon and bring the dough up and pleat it as you go around and then pinch it firmly at the top. Finish the other 5 apples and brush them with egg. Place apples in a glass baking dish (spaced about two inches apart). Bake at 450F for about 15 minutes, then turn down the oven, pour a little of the syrup over each dumpling and bake at 350F for about one half hour to 45 minutes. You can “baste” the dumplings every 15 minutes.
Serve warm with warm syrup, the best vanilla ice cream you can find and a strong cup of coffee! If you need to, eat one whole apple yourself, otherwise this recipe could possibly make enough for twelve (but then you would have to share). Boo.
Thanks 365foods! It was a blast.