by Heather Harris Brady
There may be times in life when you want something fancier than pie, when you want to give your inner Martha Stewart free rein in all its place-card-and-individual-dessert glory. Apple dumplings are for those times – humble enough to seem homey yet, if you seek out antique apples and make your own caramel sauce, there is plenty of opportunity for pretension. I kid, I love Martha, without her lots of people probably would never have discovered their love of hand-rolled beeswax.
Regardless, apple dumplings are basically self-contained apple pies, and very cute to boot. They would make a great fall brunch/dinner party dessert or something to wow people with at Thanksgiving. You can serve them with a caramel sauce like I did, or a scoop of ice cream. Even with small apples they are rather large, so if you aren’t feeding a table of pie-lovers and teenage boys, you might want to slice them in half and serve them that way.
Apple Dumplings, Makes five large servings
- 1/2 recipe pie crust (under Basics, above)
- 1 c. 1-2-3-4 streusel (under Basics, above)
- Five well-shaped baking apples
- 2 T. lemon juice
- One egg
- 2 T. water
Fill a mixing bowl with water and add the lemon juice. Peel your apples and cut them in half, remove the cores with a melon baller or metal measuring spoon.
Drop them into the acidulated water, core down. When they are all prepared set them aside.
Preheat the oven to 375. Divide your crust into five equal portions. Roll out the first portion.
Pick two matching apple halves out of the bowl and pack a tablespoon of streusel into one center, then fit the other apple half over it so the apple is back together again.
Set it on the pastry and fold the sides up over it.
You’ll have a little gob in the center of extra dough you need to trim off. You can roll it back out and cut out a couple leaves for decoration if you like.
When the apples are all wrapped up place them on a baking sheet.
Whip the egg and the water together to make an egg wash. Paint it over all the dumplings. It will help seal any cracks in the pastry as they bake.
Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until golden brown. My oven went psycho and switched itself to broil in the middle of baking, so I apologize for the scorching.
Serve the dumplings warm or at room temperature.