Apple Dumplings

Have you ever had an apple dumpling? In case you haven’t, it’s a more miniaturized version of an apple pie with sweet delicious apples bedazzled with cinnamon and sugar wrapped in pie crust, baked to perfection and topped with a seductively sweet sauce, usually caramel. It’s incredible. Once upon a time, the Cheesecake Factory had apple dumplings on their menu. Just about every Saturday evening, I would go there and order those apple dumplings.

When I close my eyes, I can still remember how they tasted! They were amazing! The apples were an impeccable texture and flavor, surrounded by a sweet and buttery crust. And the caramel sauce on top! OMG! That was the pièce de résistance!

Unfortunately for me though, one day when I went in for my usual apple dumpling order, the server informed me that the Cheesecake Factory had discontinued this item. It was gone. FOREVER! I felt like I’d been punched in the throat. I grieved for the loss of my apple dumplings. Then I decided to find a way to make them myself.

Of course, it was no easy feat. When I first made this recipe I simply wrapped the apples in the pie dough. That was a dumb move. The apples didn’t taste sweet at all. And they shrunk underneath the dough too. As a result, the pie shell turned into a hard, crumbly mess. Total fail.

So I tried again. On my next attempt, I poached the apples which I discovered is EXACTLY what makes them taste so phenomenal. They soak up the flavors of cinnamon and sugar and gives them a delightfully tender texture. Wrapped with rich butter in the pie dough, once I pulled these out of my oven I knew I had them just right. Just like the apple dumplings from my Cheesecake Factory dreams, these ones were every bit a taste of heaven!

It starts with good apples and ends with even better apples for a dessert that everyone will love. Sure, apple pie is wonderful but apple dumplings? These are truly the best way to eat your apples. Here’s what you need and how to make these divine apple dumplings!

Apple Dumplings 

Almond Pie Dough
The pie dough should be made an hour to a day before proceeding with the rest of the recipe. 

Ingredients
2 cups flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 sticks butter (cold cut into small cubes)
1/4 cup cold water 

Directions

  1. In a food processor pulse flour, almond flour, salt and sugar (or whisk these ingredients in a bowl).
  2. Add butter and pulse until it resembles a course meal (you can use a pastry blender to quickly cut the flour and butter mixture).
  3. Drizzle 1/4 cup of cold water over the mixture. Pulse or mix with a fork until the mixture begins to stay together.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate dough until firm.

The Next day began making the apple dumplings. 

Take the pie dough out of the refrigerator and let it sit for about 20 minutes so it’s easier to work with. 

Meanwhile Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

While you poach the apples you can make the candied pecans. 

Candied Pecans

Ingredients
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter cut in cubes 

Place chopped pecans, brown sugar and butter, and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. 
 

Poached Apples

Ingredients
6 firm base ball sized apples, peeled and cored (I used empire apples)
1 cup of sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
2 quarts of water
1 tbsp Juice lemon juice
1 whole nutmeg
3 allspice berries

Directions

  1. In a 1 gallon pot place the apples that have been peeled and cored along with sugar, cinnamon sticks, lemon juice, nutmeg, and allspice berries. Cover with about 2 quarts of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Remove the apples with a slotted spoon from the poaching water when they are soft enough to pierce with a fork. Reserve 1/3 cup of water for the brown sugar sauce for the apples.
  2. Place apples in the refrigerator for 20 minutes until they are cool enough to handle.

    Putting it all together.
    1. Raise oven temperature to 375 degrees.
    2. Spray cooking spray in a rectangular baking pan.
    3. Using a food scale weigh 3 oz pieces of pie dough.
    4. Roll the dough to 1/4 inch thick.
    5. Wrap apple in the pie dough. Cut off the excess pie dough. Place apple in the prepared pan with the seam on the bottom of the apple.
    6. Repeat with the remaining apples.
    7. When placing apples in the pan try not to let the apples tough one another.
    8. Once all of the apples are in the pan use a knife to poke a small hole in the center of each apple.
    9. Bake apple dumplings in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until the pie dough is a nice golden brown.

While apples are in the oven make the brown sugar sauce.  

Brown Sugar Sauce

Ingredients
1 1/2 stick butter
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup water  (reserved from poached apples)
 

In a medium sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat.  Whisk in the brown sugar and honey until the sugar dissolves. Add heavy cream and water and cook until the mixture comes to a boil.  Let cool slightly and pour over the apple dumplings.  While the mixture is cooking it will appear to be very loose.  The mixture will thicken as it cools. 

Once the apples come out of the oven pour the brown sugar sauce all over the apples and sprinkle with candied pecans. 

This recipe was also made with gluten free flour. I like to use
https://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/gluten-free-measure-for-measure-flour-1-lb


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