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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Apple Dumplings

This is the real deal.  An amazing authentic apple dumpling baked to the perfect consistency—a nice soft, sweet apple on the inside enveloped in a crisp buttery crust.  I think we prefer these over the amazing apple dumplings.  I guess there’s special about the real deal.  We like to serve these dumplings warm with vanilla ice cream.  Serves 8.  From Cook's Country October/November 2009

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
5 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
¾ cups cold buttermilk

Apple Dumplings
6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons golden raisins, chopped
4 Golden Delicious apples (see note*)
2 egg whites, lightly beaten**

Make Dough
Process flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in food processor until combined. Scatter butter and shortening over flour mixture and pulse until mixture resembles wet sand. Transfer to bowl. Stir in buttermilk until dough forms. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead briefly until dough is cohesive. Press dough into 8- by 4-inch rectangle. Cut in half, wrap each half tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Prep Apples
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. In second bowl, combine butter, raisins, and 3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar mixture. Peel apples and halve through equator.  Using a melon baller or a metal teaspoon scoop out core and seeds carefully so as to not pierce bottom half of the apple.  Then pack butter mixture into each apple half.

Assemble Dumplings
On lightly floured surface, roll each dough half into 12-inch square. Cut each 12-inch square into four 6-inch squares. Working one at a time, lightly brush edges of dough square with egg white and place apple, cut-side up, in center of each square. Fold the corners of the dough diagonally to the center.  Overlap and crimp edges to seal.  Using paring knife, cut vent hole in top of each dumpling.

Finish Apples
Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange dumplings on prepared baking sheet, brush tops with egg white, and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar. Bake until dough is golden brown and juices are bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 10 minutes. Serve with ice-cream.

*Note: the apple you use is important!  Some softer apples such as a McIntosh run mushy, others are too crunchy when the pastry is done.  Suggested apples include other sweet, moderately firm apples like Golden Delicious, Braeburns, or Galas.

**Note: due to egg allergies I omit the egg whites completely and thought they were still fabulous...perhaps not the same nice sheen but still just as tasty.

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