Apple Dumplings peeled and cored apples filled with cinnamon sugar mixture then wrapped in a buttery flaky pie crust and ladled with a warm syrup mixture of butter, sugar, and water. They are perfectly cooked, and you are in heaven!
My apple dumpling recipe comes from a good friend and it never ceases to amaze me how many memories flow in every time I make them.
Homemade sometimes means a time-consuming recipe. These are well worth it down to making the homemade crust. On the plus side, the apple dumplings also freeze well to bake later. This saves time when baking for holidays when there is so much to do getting ready for guest or family coming.
The crust is my go-to pie crust recipe I use all the time for savory or sweet pies. It is easy to work with and makes a fabulous warm dumpling-like texture that grabs all the wonderful apple cinnamon sugar juices in the bottom of the pan. I am real particular about the type of apples I use in the dumplings.
I find some apple varieties don't cook through enough while others cook too much and turn to mush. I only use Granny Smith apples and be sure to select all of them the same medium size. They cook evenly and are easier to arrange in the pan.
Before you peel and core the apple, it is better to make the pie crust dough. After making, the pie crust, divide the dough into 12 equal balls. Roll them out into a circle and place wax paper between them.
When ready to make the dumpling, take one of the rolled out doughs and place a peeled and cored apple in the center. Pour a mixture of cinnamon sugar in the center. While holding the apple in place, pull sides of the dough around the apple. Place them in a large dish.
There is a VERY important step. As the warm syrup is being made, preheat the oven. I cannot stress this enough. Preheating the oven will keep the dough from breaking down while the dumplings are baking. The syrup doesn't have to be boiling just heat until the butter melts. Do not boil it. When the syrup is warm, close to hot, ladle it over each apple. Then go back and do it again until all the syrup is gone.
Now it is time to bake them. When the dumplings come out of the oven, they are baked perfectly. If you happen to have some ice cream handy, it is a great addition, but let me tell you they are heavenly without any.
These warm apple dumplings make an appearance at all our family gatherings. I hope you get to make some real soon. Enjoy!
Homemade Apple Dumplings
Ingredients: Pastry for Apples
- 2 cups of sugar
1/4 cup of cinnamon
5 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 cups cold shortening
12 tablespoons ice cold water
12 granny smith apples, peeled and cored
3 cups sugar
3 cups water
1/2 cup butter
In a 2 cup measuring cup combine sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
Combine flour and salt in mixing bowl. Cut in shortening with pastry blender or two knives until mixture is uniform; mixture should be fairly coarse. Sprinkle with water, a tablespoon at a time; toss with fork.
Work dough into 12 balls with your hands, approximately 3 oz each.
One at a time, roll each pastry ball to form an 8 inch circle. Place peeled and cored apple in the center of the circle.
Pour a portion of the cinnamon sugar mixture into the center of the apple up to the top.
Bring the edges of the pastry to the top of the apple to enclose it, then press to seal. Repeat with the remaining 11 apples. At this point, the apple dumplings can be frozen and baked later. (See directions below)
Space the dumplings evenly in the baking dish. While making the syrup mixture, preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Make syrup mixture and pour over each dumpling. (Directions below)
Bake for 1 hour. Dumplings will be golden brown and bubbly. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
In a large saucepan add water, sugar, and butter. Heat only until the butter melts and pour syrup over each dumpling and go back and pour over each dumpling until all the syrup is gone.
Directions: How to freeze the dumplings
After apples have been wrapped with pie crust dough, place on a lined sheet pan with foil or wax paper. Place the sheet pan in the freezer and freeze for 1 hour. After the apples are frozen, place in a sealable bag. They can be frozen up to 6 months. When ready to bake, remove dumplings and place in dish and follow the syrup directions and bake. It will take about 30 minutes extra to bake frozen.
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This recipe first published August 2010. Updated September 2016