Thursday, September 17, 2015

Apple Dumplings

 A rite of autumn is a trip to Crossroad Orchard in Miamisburg. This year we came home with a bag of Cortland apples. They're middle-of-the-road, neither tart nor sweet, but the interior is solid and white as snow and I thought they'd make perfect apple dumplings.

 I used a very old recipe from Betty Crocker. Though we have and enjoy several others, this recipe is fairly straightforward and the result is delicious.

 What I love best about this recipe (and have since I was a little kid), is the thick red sauce. It's a moderately sweet apple dumpling.

Apple Dumplings

The Sauce:
2 cups water
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 drops red food coloring
1/4 cup margarine

Combine all ingredients except the margarine and cook five minutes. I bring it up to a simmer and then start the five minutes. Take off the heat, add the butter and sit aside (stir again before using later) 

 The dumplings made and ready for the red sauce

The biscuit dough:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening (I use margarine)
1/2 cup milk

Combine dry ingredients, stir thoroughly. Cut in margarine. Add milk all at once. On a lightly floured surface, roll to a 18x12 inch rectangle. Cut into six even rectangles.

 Add 4 or 5 apples, pared and cored, shared among each square.
 Sprinkle with additional sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to taste (use your imagination!)
 Fold dough around apple pieces. Squeeze a bit into a round ball.

 Place in a 13 x 9 x 2 inch ungreased pan. Pour red sauce over top.

 Bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes. Test that apples are done.

 The recipe calls for the dumplings to be placed an inch apart. They'll rise and "grow" together as they bake. Much of the red sauce will be absorbed into the dumplings but they'll be enough left to dip it onto each dumpling when served.
 Best served warm. They can be refrigerated (or even frozen) and then re-heated in a microwave.
  Vanilla ice cream makes a great addition. But they're also perfect just as is.

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