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!


Pastry Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
ā…” cup all-vegetable shortening
5-7 tablespoons cold water

Syrup Ingredients:
2 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Apple Ingredients:
6-8 medium sized tart apples
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
6-8 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. 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 ā…›-inch thick and cut into 7-inch squares.
  2. 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.
  3. Preheat oven to 425Ā°F. Butter a large rimmed baking dish and set aside.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Pour hot syrup evenly over the tops and around the dumplings.
  7. 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.
  8. Serve warm with the hot syrup that’s in the bottom of the baking dish and ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

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