As a little girl I watched my mama make my favorite apple dessert, Old-fashioned Apple Dumplings, using the recipe from her worn copy of the Mennonite Community Cookbook. The Granny Smith apples enclosed in a delicate, flaky crust, bathed in scrumptious, buttery, brown sugar sauce and topped off with cream, equals perfection. Naturally, I’ve chosen to share this favorite recipe of mine with my girls, and with you, here on 31 days of Amish Family Recipes!
Begin with a half-dozen green apples. This is the perfect opportunity to use some you’ve just picked from a local orchard! My favorite spot to pick apples, is the lovely Weaver’s Orchard, in Morgantown, PA, which is where my Grandpa’s farm is located.
To begin making this delicious dessert, core and peel the apples, keeping them whole. I loved watching my mama perform this step when I was a little girl. She made it look effortless! Although the recipe doesn’t call for it, I immediately brush my cored apples with lemon juice, to prevent them from browning.
Next it’s time to make the pastry crust. I use all-natural coconut oil shortening and sea salt combined with non-bleached organic flour, non-aluminum baking powder and farm-fresh milk. Resist the urge to over-handle this dough, as it will be flakier if handling is kept to a minimum.
I always enjoy rolling out this soft crust, cutting it into six pieces and placing the cored apples on top.
Now it’s time to fill the apple centers with brown sugar and sprinkle them with cinnamon. I use dark brown sugar, as it gives the Apple dumplings a rich flavor. I live just outside of Houston, TX, so I like to use Imperial Sugar, because it’s local – and, of course delicious!
Next, make the sauce, using brown sugar, cinnamon, water, butter.
Finally, wrap the dumplings by folding the edges toward the center and gently pressing the pastry together. Place in greased baking pan (I like to use my stoneware piece), and pour the brown sugar sauce over top. It’s time to bake the Apple dumplings!
After baking at 375 for 35-40 minutes, the Apple dumplings are ready to eat. They’re delicious served fresh and warm, with cream, milk, or vanilla ice cream!
- 6 medium-sized apples
- 2 cups flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup milk
- Sauce: 2 cups brown sugar (I use dark brown)
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg, optional (I use both)
- Pare and core apples. Leave whole.
- To make pastry, sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
- Cut in shortening until particles are about the size of peas.
- Sprinkle milk over mixture and press together lightly, working dough only long enough to hold together.
- Roll dough as for pastry (or pie crust thickness) and cut into 6 squares and place an apple on each.
- Fill cavity in apple with sugar and cinnamon.
- Pat dough around Apple to cover it completely.
- Fasten edges securely on top of Apple.
- Place dumplings 1 inch apart in a greased baking pan.
- Pour over them the sauce made as follows:
- Combine brown sugar, water and spices.
- Cook for 5 minutes, remove from heat and add butter.
- Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes.
- Baste occasionally during baking.
- Serve hot with rich milk or cream.
Source: Mrs. Forrest Ogburn; Mrs. U. Grant Weaver, Mrs. James Bauman; Mennonite Community Cookbook