Last Saturday I went to the Way Fruit Farm 2010 fall festival and picked a half peck of Idared apples. One of my goals was to make apple dumplings with some of those apples. This evening I accomplished that goal. Until tonight I had never made apple dumplings before, so I had no idea what to expect.
It only took a few minutes to mix up the dough, roll it out, and prepare the apples. I chopped each apple into four pieces to increase the surface area.
When it came time to assemble the dumplings I modified the recipe a bit. It seemed like too much sugar was called for, so I cut back on it a bit and added a bit more cinnamon. After forming the dumplings I placed a butter beret on each one, then mixed a slurry of sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and water to place in the bottom of the dish.
The dumplings spent 40 minutes in the oven. I basted them several times. The copious amounts of cinnamon in the basting liquid gave the dumplings a tan.
I paired a fresh dumpling with some vanilla ice cream. It was quite good. Most definitely not the best apple dumpling I have had, but not bad for the first time making them. The flavor was not exceptionally sweet because of the reduction in sugar I used (which I like), so I think if I made these for anyone else I would need to increase the sugar. The reduced sugar allowed the dough flavor to dominate, which made a wonderful compliment to the ice cream.
One thing I learned from this process, the smell alone is worth the effort of making apple dumplings. If heaven smells like my apartment did tonight I will not be disappointed. The mix of apples, dough, and cinnamon is glorious.
I thought making apple dumplings would be more time intensive. It took me about 30 minutes to prepare them and 40 minutes to bake them (and I was working at a leisurely pace). Not bad at all.