Saucy Autumn Apples
I love Fall.
There was a point in the summer when I thought maybe I was beginning to like the heat better, but I was wrong. Fall is now here, and I don’t know what I was thinking. Please forgive me, Autumn — you’re my one and only season. And to prove to you how dedicated I am, here’s a blog in your honor.
With the leaves turning beautiful colors and the chill in the air, it was time. Time to make my favorite dessert: Saucy Apple Dumplings. Mmmmm. And in my new quest to become a better food photographer, this is (hopefully) just the beginning of my line of food posts.
Side note: shooting food is harder than I thought! Especially when my hands are all doughy or sticky and I’m in my cooking zone! I’ll work on it, though. There’s a step I simply didn’t photograph … the part where you fill the core of the apple with the walnut/honey/raisin mix and sprinkle it all with cinnamon and sugar. Oh well. It’s still a challenge I willingly accept, and I just love food so much … I want to share that with all of you!
So, back to the dumplings. The recipe comes from my all-time favorite cookbook ever (we got it when we got married, and we use it at least once per week). It’s our Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. And here are the photos … Enjoy!
They just taste like fall! I’d offer you one of ours, but they’re gone. All six. You should bake some to find out how delicious these Saucy Apple Dumplings are!
Here’s the recipe:
2 cups water
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
1/3 to 1/2 cup half-and-half, light cream, or whole milk (I used skim milk and it worked fine)
2 tablespoons chopped raisins or golden raisins (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 small cooking apples (about 1-1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1. For sauce, in a medium saucepan combine the water, the 1-1/4 cups sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add the 1/4 cup butter or margarine. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, for pastry, combine the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the half-and-half, light cream, or milk over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat moistening dough, using 1 tablespoon of the cream or milk at a time, until all of the dough is moistened. Form dough into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to an 18×12-inch rectangle.* Using a pastry wheel or sharp knife, cut into six 6-inch squares.
3. In a small mixing bowl combine the raisins, walnuts, and honey.
4. In another small bowl stir together the 2 tablespoons sugar and the 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Set aside.
5. Peel and core the apples. Place an apple on each pastry square. Fill centers of apples with nut mixture. Sprinkle with sugar-cinnamon mixture; dot with butter or margarine. Moisten edges of each pastry square with water; fold corners to center over apple. Pinch to seal. Place dumplings in a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. If desired, roll pastry slightly larger and use excess pastry to make pastry leaves for garnish. Roll out pastry and cut into leaf shapes.
6. Pour sauce over dumplings. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 1 hour or until pastry is golden brown. To serve, spoon sauce over dumplings. Makes 6 servings.