Johnny and Dumplings!
September 26 is Johnny Appleseed Day.
Some of you out there remember back in the 90’s when I had a Johnny Appleseed Party. It seemed like the perfect theme for a party! We had apples everywhere, we dressed in red and green, played “Apples to Apples” and everyone brought an apple dish.
I remember a lot of things about that party, but the one thing I think about often is the Apple Dumplings I made. And I’m not even a huge apple dessert/pastry fan. Apple Pie is at the bottom of my pie list! But these were SO. GOOD. Probably because I like more crust than filling and these had that!
I don’t still have the recipe I used, unfortunately. But there were no shortcuts! They were real apple dumplings with a pastry covering an entire apple. Did I mention how good it was??
However, from what I can remember, this recipe by the BakerMama is really close to the one I used, so maybe I can try this sometime soon and see if they are just as delicious as I remember. If you try it, be sure to let me know!
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
⅔ cup all-vegetable shortening
5-7 tablespoons cold water
2 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
6-8 medium sized tart apples
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
6-8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Pastry: In a large mixing bowl, sift flour and salt together. Cut in shortening with a pastry cutter or two knives in opposite directions until pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of water over mixture and gently toss with a fork. Repeat with more water until mixture is all moistened. Form into a ball. Flatten pastry dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll out to a little less than ⅛-inch thick and cut into 7-inch squares.
- Syrup: Prepare the syrup by bringing 2 cups water, 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons butter and . teaspoon cinnamon to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium-low heat and let simmer until reduced to a thick enough syrup to lightly coat the back of a spoon.
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Butter a large rimmed baking dish and set aside.
- Apples: Peel and core an apple for each pastry square you have. In a small bowl, whisk together . cup sugar and 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon.
- Place an apple in the middle of one of the square pastries. Fill the core cavity of the apple with some of the cinnamon sugar mixture and dot with a tablespoon of butter. Bring opposite points of pastry up over the apple. Overlap, moisten with water and seal. Carefully lift the pastry-wrapped apple and place it in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining apples, pastry squares, cinnamon sugar mixture and butter.
- Pour hot syrup evenly over the tops and around the dumplings.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the crust on each dumpling is golden brown and apples are cooked all the way through. You can test the apples by poking them with a fork or skewer.
- Serve warm with the hot syrup that’s in the bottom of the baking dish and ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.