It is one of the things York County is known for.
Actually, most orchards will already have apples available to consumers thanks to their being kept in cold storage over the winter. So if you just can’t stand to wait another couple months or so for the next generation of apples, you’ll be able to find plenty of apples already on the shelves that can be used to bake apple dumplings.
That’s the subject for this week: Apple dumplings, plus the tasty red sauce that goes over them (at least in my family).
I’ve been eating these apple dumplings for a very long time — three generations, at least. Probably much longer than that since apples are such a local staple.
In my family, we eat them for dessert, or we eat them as the meal — breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. In which case, I usually eat two or three of them at a time.
And I’ve eaten them when made from as many different kinds of apples and I have fingers on my two hands. My favorites, however, are Granny Smiths, Yellow (Golden) Delicious, Braeburn and one I ran into by total accident a couple years ago, the Honeycrisp.
All are tart, yet sweet, and have crisp flesh — perfect for apple pies and apple dumplings. Most, however, aren’t picked fresh until mid- to late-September or later.
But like I said, there are plenty of apples to choose from that would be perfect for baking, so don’t let that be a reason to deny yourself an apple dumpling when you’re hungry for one.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3cup shortening (cold butter or margarine)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 8 drops red food coloring
- 3 Tablespoons butter
Ingredients: Everything else
- 6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- Sugar and cinnamon to cover
- Nuts and/or raisins (if preferred)
Start by pre-heating oven to 375 degrees.
Then, in a large bowl, blend 2 cups of flour, salt and baking powder by whisking or sifting. Cut in the chilled shortening, as you would for pie dough by using a fork or your hands, until the particles are about the size of small peas. Add the cold milk all at once, mixing with a fork until the dough is moistened. At that point, gather all the dough together — sprinkle a little flour on the dough and your hands — and fold into a package about eight-inches square. Set aside in the refrigerator.
Make the sauce: Blend sugar, water, cinnamon, nutmeg and food coloring in one pan.
Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add butter.
Then peel, core and slice apples. Add sugar and cinnamon until apple slices are thoroughly covered.
Lightly sprinkle flour on large cutting board. Cut off Ð of the dough and set aside. Flatten remaining dough with rolling pin until in a square about 14 inches in each direction. Cut into four squares, six-inches or so in each direction.
Flatten the remaining Ð of dough into a rectangle about six inches by 14 inches and cut in half longwise. You should have six squares of dough, roughly six-inches in each direction.
Spoon apple slices (about the equivalent of one full apple) onto the center of each dough square, then add a couple small cubes of butter onto each pile of apples. Moisten your finger tips with water, then pull opposite corners of dough toward each other and join at the top of the pile of apples. Then do likewise with the remaining two corners of dough, overlapping along the sides and pinching together to seal the dumpling.
Place dumplings in a 9×13-inch baking dish — I like glass, but metal would do.
Then pour the red sauce evenly over the dumplings, allowing it to run down the sides and pool in the bottom of the baking dish.
Sprinkle granulated sugar on surface of each dumpling. Don’t go overboard with this.
Bake 35 minutes or so, until apples are soft and dumplings are lightly browned on top. Every 10 minutes or so, spoon red sauce back over dumplings.
In my house, we serve the dumplings warm, and I will always add some cold milk over the top of mine. Why? Well, because that’s the way my grandmother taught me to do it out on the farm when I was a kid.
But if you have another way to eat your apple dumplings, that’s fine by me.
-You can reach Larry at email@example.com.Read More