Crisp slightly tart apples are one of the joys of fall. Biting into a cold juicy apple is one of those eating experiences that borders on being transcendent. It brings back memories of picking apples from the tree in my neighbors yard when I was kid. As much as I love apples, the thought of making an apple pie from scratch is a little intimidating. I’ve watched those pie baking competitions where the contestant had a big beautiful perfectly browned pie that was a runny mushy mess inside. To keep that from happening to me, I’ve stuck with apple crisps and Mrs. Smith Dutch Apple Pie. A few weeks ago it occurred to me that apple dumplings are a great alternative to making a pie. Easy to make, easy to season, and perfectly proportioned for one serving. Wrap apple halves, brown sugar, and pecans in pie dough and voila la, instant appley goodness. The sauce adds a sweet cinnamony layer of flavor but these are just as good without the sauce.
- 3 tbls softened butter
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans or walnuts
- 2 medium apples – Yellow Delicious of Granny Smith peeled, halved, and cored
- 1 9-inch boxed pie crust ( I like Pillsbury)
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 Tbls. butter
- 1 cup water + 2 tsps
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/4 maple syrup
Directions for Dumplings
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.
- Mix 3 tbls. of butter, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon and all the nuts in a small bowl.
- Unroll pie crust onto floured work area. Roll pie crust until it’s about 12 inches in diameter. Cut the crust into 4 equal parts across the middle vertically and diagonally. I like my dumplings on the rustic side so I leave the edges round. If you want your dumplings more uniform, trim the edges to make the pieces square.
- Place apple halves in the middle of the dough and spoon sugar mixture into the middle of the apple halves. Brush edges of dough with egg white and pull edges together, pinching them together to seal. If your apples are too large to fit in one piece of dough , trim them down.
- Place dumplings in baking pan. I used a 11 x 7 pan. Brush outside of dough with egg white and sprinkle with sugar.
- Cook dumplings at 425 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until they start to brown.
- Reduce heat to 375 and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes longer.
Directions for Cinnamon Maple Sauce
- Bring 1 cup water, the remaining 2 Tbls. butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup maple syrup, and 1 tsp. cinnamon to boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Dissolve cornstarch in 2 tsps. water; whisk into hot syrup for a smooth sauce.
- For each serving, spoon a portion of sauce on a dessert plate. Set apple dumpling over warm sauce; serve immediately.
This recipe was adapted from Allrecipes.com.