Saturday, October 30, 2010

Apple Dumplings

Now this is a to die for dessert and is great for fall because apples are in abundance. I used Jonathan apples because I like the large round shape but you could use a Granny Smith or Fuji apple as well. The goal is to have a nice round apple because it ascetically looks pretty.

The next great thing about this recipe is that it is from Better Homes and Garden with ingredients that are not so good for you. My point, I am a huge advocate of using your traditional cookbooks OR family recipes that have been passed down and simply making them nutritious by converting the ingredients. You will see my suggestions in the list of ingredients below.

I will warn you that one apple dumpling is almost too much for one person. It looks beautiful to put the full apple dumpling on a plate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream but boy will your stomach let you know that you ate too much!

Another note, this recipe is a little labor intensive so it is not something I would make often but sure is a good one. :) Hope you enjoy.

2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar (I used raw sugar or substitute Xagave)
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
2 cups flour (I used pastry flour)
1/2 t salt
2/3 cup shortening (I used butter)
1/3 to 1/2 cup half n half
2 T chopped golden raisins*
2 T chopped walnuts*
1 T honey
2 T sugar (I used raw sugar)
1/2 t cinnamon
6 small cooking apples
1 T butter

1. Combine water, 1 1/2 raw sugar, and 1/2 t cinnamon. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup butter. Set aside.

**2. Pastry: Combine pastry flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pea size pieces. Sprinkle 1 T of hal and half over part of the mixture; gently toss with fork. Repeat moistening dough, using 1 T of the half and half at time, until a ball. On a lightly floured surface, rool dough to 18x2 inch rectangle. Using a sharp knife cut dough rectangle into six 6 inch squares.

**I skipped this part of the recipe and used the pie crust from the Sensible Cooking Cookbook using the Bosch Food processor. Excellent pie crust in minutes. I am always for less work to accomplish a great result. Click here to see the cookbook!

3. Combine raisins, walnuts and honey. In another small bowl stir together the 2 T raw sugar and 1/2 t cinnamon and set aside. (I didn't use the raisins or walnuts)

4. Peel and core apples. I used the apple corer and this was a breeze. Click here to learn more! Place an apple on each pastry square. Fill apple centers with raisin mixture. Sprinkle with cinnamon and raw sugar mixture; dot with the 1 T butter. Moisten edges of each pastry square with water; gather corners over apples. Pinch to seal. Place dumplings in pan. Reheat sauce to a boil and pour over dumplings. Bake uncovered about 1 hour or until apples are tender and pastry is golden. To serve, spoon sauce over dumplings.

I used the stainless steel square cake pan (click here) as I only made 4. One for each of my kids. It was so rich that we split them!

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