Sunday, October 16, 2011

Apple Picking and the Dumplings that Followed

Apples fresh from the tree, sliced and placed in buttery pastry, accompanied by a rosy, fragrant cinnamon sauce...

Does it get better than that?

Not for this girl!

Growing up, my most favorite fall treat was my Mama's apple dumplings. Why she didn't let me eat eight in one sitting, I'll never know. But it's high time I shared them with you all!

I've been in Cleveland with some of my most treasured friends, eating, drinking fancy espresso, baking, talking. But one of the best times was our trip to an apple farm to pick apples, pumpkins, eat fritters the size of your head and experience real kettle corn. And that day?

That day started with Donut Day at a local home where a lovely family provides donuts for the entire neighborhood. Heaven.

Oh, fall!! I love you so and Cleveland for embracing all that is you.

Mama's Apple Dumplings
makes 8

for the sauce :

3/4 c sugar
1 and 1/2 c water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
4 tbs salted butter

- Combine all but butter in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn heat down, stir in butter and one drop of red food coloring for a sweet, rosy apple color. Set aside.

for the pastry :

2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2/3 c shortening
1/2 c of milk
3 cups skinned, thinly sliced apples (baking apples!)
cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg for sprinkling (and a few extra tbs of butter!)

- Preheat the oven to 375 and lightly butter a 9x13.
- Combine dry ingredients, cut in shortening and add milk to combine. Separate dough in half (and refrigerate one half.) Roll out into a circular shape, cut into 4 sections. Fill each section with a few apple slices, sprinkle with above sugar (about 1/2 tsp) and spices, finish with a pat of butter and press dough to fold into a dumpling shape. Continue to do this until all dumplings are formed and in pan. Pour sauce over each dumpling and into the pan and cook for 30-35 minutes. Serve warm.