Posted by James Sechrengost on 11/12 at 09:35 AM
The first time I had apple dumplings I was seven. My uncle loved camping and this was the first time he asked me to go along. Now, he was my favorite uncle (shhhhh don’t tell the others) and getting to go with him had me excited for weeks before the trip. It was fall and the weather was turning colder so he wanted to get one last camping trip in before it started to snow. My uncle taught me all kinds of things about the woods and surviving and just enjoying nature. What I didn’t know was he had a favorite uncle too. Uncle Lloyd was old school and knew more about hunting and wood lore than I ever will and I’m a survival specialist. He did things around a camp without thinking that I never would have thought of to make life easier.
So when we went to go camping my uncle always made sure to stop off and visit with Lloyd before and after a camping trip to talk over where he was going and what he had seen. So we stopped off and they visited for an hour then we headed out to go camping. After a week in the woods I was ready to go home. I had learned a lot and had a lot of fun but the rock and twigs under my bed were winning and I wanted a real bed. So on our way home we stopped off to visit Lloyd. Now, I didn’t want to stop, I just wanted to go home. I didn’t want to not get invited back so I didn’t say anything but I fidgeted a lot, as kids will. Now his wife Dot noticed this and took me out to the kitchen for a bite.
What she sat before me was this large golden brown bowl of pure delight. APPLE DUMPLING! Why had I never seen one of these wonders before or even heard of them? I took my first bite and was hooked. The golden flaky pastry, the sweet glaze, the tender juicy apple and all the spices filled my mouth. Before I knew it my bowl was empty and like Oliver Twist I held out my bowl and said, “Please may I have another?” She laughed and put another in my bowl this time with a scoop of ice cream. How is it possible it was even better? Of course my uncle learned why I had never had one before. That much sweetness and an enclosed car combined with a long trip are not good combinations. I still love them and have included a recipe for them. Enjoy.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
1/3 cup cold water
8 medium tart apples (granny smith or Rome are best), peeled and cored
8 teaspoons butter
9 teaspoons cinnamon-sugar, divided
1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter, cubed
Preheat oven to 350°.
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in shortening until crumbly.
Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball.
Divide into eight portions.
Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until easy to handle.
Roll each portion of dough between two lightly floured sheets of waxed paper into a square about seven inches.
Place an apple on each square. Place 1 teaspoon butter and 1 teaspoon cinnamon-sugar in the center of each apple.
Gently bring up corners of pastry to each center; pinch edges to seal.
If desired, cut out apple leaves and stems from dough scraps; attach to dumplings with water.
Place in a greased 13x9 baking dish.
Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar.
In a large saucepan, combine sauce ingredients.
Bring just to a boil, stirring until blended. Pour over apples.
Bake 50-55 minutes or until apples are tender and pastry is golden brown, basting occasionally with sauce.
Serve warm with maybe some vanilla ice cream?
Author: James Sechrengost
Bio: Computer Guru | World Traveler and Foodie Extraordinaire | Member of the Been there Done that Club
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