Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings, found over at AllRecipes.com. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.
This week’s recipe was Nance’s choice, and who doesn’t love apple dumplings? Apples and pie crust and ten tons of sugar? Yes, please!
Apples, pie crust, butter, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg. The recipe called for 6 apples, but since it’s just the two of us here, I decided to cut the recipe in half. I figured, if we hated it, we wouldn’t waste as many apples, and if we loved it, there’d be a limited amount to shove in our faces so we wouldn’t end up whining about how full we were from eating too much.
It wasn’t until I actually started making the recipe that I realized I was going to have to core and peel the apples. I don’t know why this came as such a surprise to me, but it was a total shock. I was all waving my fist in the air and yelling “DAMN YOU, Nance!” for a few minutes, and then I shut up and got to work.
I don’t have an apple corer, and I’ve never successfully cored an apple without cutting it into pieces (mostly because I’ve never actually attempted such a maneuver), so I dug through my kitchen drawers until I found a tool that I thought might work.
That’s a cherry pitter (and a knife). It worked surprisingly well – I had the core of the apples out of there in no time at all. It was a lot less of a pain in the ass than I expected it to be, frankly. I peeled the apples…
AND THEN THE INSPECTOR SHOWED UP.
With the inspector sent off for nap time, I pondered the recipe, and then called Fred in for a consultation on how to use a round pie crust when the recipe is all “Roll your dough out into a rectangle!” Fred suggested I just cut the pie dough in three equal pieces, and I suggested he do that for me.
I cut my butter up to stuff the hole of each apple with 1 tablespoon of butter. Only problem? It wouldn’t fit. Each apple got about 3/4 of a tablespoon of butter. I’m thinking my apples might have been smaller than your average Granny Smith.
I was supposed to put 2 tablespoons of sugar in and around each apple, and that was SO not happening (the apples were stuffed with butter and had little room for anything else), so I ended up using 1 tablespoon of sugar for each apple. Then sprinkled ’em with cinnamon and nutmeg.
I called Fred in to actually wrap each apple up, because I was concerned that I’d get annoyed in the process and the pigs would end up with apples and raw pie dough, and then what the hell was I going to write about here?
Works for me!
Once the apples are all wrapped up and ready to go, you make the syrup to go over the dumplings, and had I realized that it would take three years for the syrup to come to a boil, I would have started that sooner. Sugar, water, butter, vanilla on medium heat:
The original recipe directed that you should boil the syrup for five minutes or until the sugar was dissolved. I’m not sure on what planet it takes five minutes of boiling for sugar to dissolve, but here on Earth it takes, like, a minute.
Dump your syrup over the apples:
And bake for 50 – 60 minutes. Mine took 50 minutes.
A little dough fell off one of the apples, but that did not matter at ALL.
The dumpling fell apart as soon as I touched it with a fork. Just kind of disintegrated.
And then the inspector was all “WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?”
The verdict? Wow, was it good. Fred kept saying “This is WAY better than I thought it would be!”, but come on. Did I mention apples-pie crust-sugar? How could it be anything BUT good?
We’re definitely making this one again!
I printed the recipe for the pie dough (with the green background) from the Internet a while back and I foolishly didn’t print a header/footer because I thought it would save ink (cheap ass, thy name is Nance). The result? I have no idea where I got the recipe from, but it is FABULOUS. If anybody recognizes it, please let me know so I can put the link for it up here with proper credit. Until then, I suggest you use whatever recipe works best for you or SAVE YOURSELF and use the pre-made pie dough you can buy from the store.
The recipe itself started out okay. It said to use pastry dough, doubled and I took the wording to mean that it called for a pie dough recipe that was enough to make a top and a bottom (because the only apple dumplings I have eaten have always been made with pie dough since this is not a fancypants food). So I went ahead and just doubled this mystery recipe and it worked out fine. You know, there are a lot of recipes out there that cannot be doubled. I actually have a banana bread one that is a disaster if you try to double it. So when I’m making more than one loaf my ass is re-doing all the measuring and mixing every single time. It’s annoying, but whatever. I do not know how I got from apple dumplings to banana bread, but welcome to my nightmare.
Rick had to google the recipe in the store in order for me to know what type of apples to buy. My mother always bitches about the fact that I never buy the right type of apple (although I’m pretty sure I have bought every single apple variety out there). This recipe called for Granny Smith and I bought exactly six because they were $1.83 a GODDAMN POUND and fuck that noise. Best part of all: Shirley still bitched and said that I should have gotten “smaller” apples. JESUS H.
I put my dough in the refrigerator (it says for about 30 minutes) and I never got back to it until hours later. Because I held dinner for Rick who was off working on a project and the next thing I know I’m trying to make apple dumplings after 8:30 at night. Ahem. I think we can call this one Angry Baking 101.
And this is where good recipes go bad when I’m in the middle of having one of those days.
Ill-prepared people don’t get butter out of the freezer in time for it to soften. Cranky people cut/stab frozen butter and expect it to cooperate. Since I can’t roll a pie-dough out right to save my life I just rolled individual ones in order to cover the apples. This may or may not have had something to do with my being pissed off enough at the husband that I refused to ask him for help.
Anal retentive people with a serious case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder cannot deal with a mess all around them. It gets worse. Just wait. I was flipping out over the fact that I had to touch the brown sugar to sprinkle it, etc. because I was rushing so the goddamn apple wouldn’t turn brown. Please note ALL THAT EXCESS FLOUR. UGH!
See what I mean about it getting worse? I just did not have an organized handle on this apple dumpling making at all! But I did have coffee in my Polish Pottery coffee cup back there. Did ya see it? Huh, huh? Did ya?
A different view of my particular brand of crazy. Normal Nance (who is not angry) would have everything neat and tidy with stuff put away. This shit got so far out of hand, man. I wanted to throw in the towel and call it a day. And I would have if it were only me doing these goddamn things.
But Grandma Tube-top was coring and peeling the apples so I didn’t want to let her down. Ha! Truth game: I didn’t want to get my ass kicked because apparently Shirley was on a roll as this was her last apple and I was fucking around behind her…
Taking pictures of myself with a make-believe grumpy face pose in order to show everyone how pissed off I was at having to make these. Attention Deficit Disorder, anyone? Meanwhile, I just end up looking like I have chewing tobacco in my mouth.
I had this many done when she yelled at me to take the picture of her last apple. Busted!
The title of this self-portrait: Defeat. Rick did not turned off the shower knob after bathing the dog and when I turned on the water to scrub the tub out, I got drenched. Way to reach the very top of the Shit-List, Rick!
No longer care about softball sized apple dumplings. Die, motherfuckers, die!
I decided that two cups of sugar was way too much so I made it one cup sugar and one cup Splenda. Don’t do this. It never got syrupy (even after leaving it boiling for five minutes) and I’m guessing that’s why. But who knows? Who cares? Does anybody really know what time of day it is? Name that tune, fuckers! Sure beats baking!
Recipe says to pour it carefully. This is how I do carefully. You should never tell me to be careful. Paying attention is too painful and I always fuck it up. By this time I really did consider it a lost cause.
But THIS is what came out of the oven an hour later and OHMYHELL, they looked pretty damn good (and the smell, WOW).
Winner (with bonus Polish Pottery Bowl). But I think I’ll search around for a different sauce next time. I just want a little bit of glaze without all the sugar so I’m going to have to look into this a little more. If anybody knows of any good glazes/syrups/whatever the hell it’s called that doesn’t involve using cinnamon hearts (eww), please feel free to include them in the comments.
- 1 recipe pastry for double-crust pie (or pre-made pie dough)
- 6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
- ½ cup butter
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 cups water
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter a 9x13 inch pan.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry into a large rectangle, about 24 by 16 inches. Cut into 6 square pieces. (Or use pre-made pie dough and cut each piece of dough into three equal pieces.) Place an apple on each pastry square with the cored opening facing upward. Cut butter into 8 pieces. Place 1 piece of butter in the opening of each apple; reserve remaining butter for sauce.
- Divide brown sugar between apples, poking some inside each cored opening and the rest around the base of each apple. Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg over the apples.
- With slightly wet fingertips, bring one corner of pastry square up to the top of the apple, then bring the opposite corner to the top and press together. Bring up the two remaining corners, and seal. Slightly pinch the dough at the sides to completely seal in the apple. (Basically, just wrap each apple in its piece of dough and pinch the dough together tightly.) Repeat with the remaining apples. Place in prepared baking dish.
- In a saucepan, combine water, white sugar, vanilla extract and reserved butter. Place over medium heat, and bring to a boil in a large saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes, or until sugar is dissolved. Carefully pour over dumplings.
- Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes. Place each apple dumpling in a dessert bowl, and spoon some sauce over the top.