Apple Dumplings

Every year in late September, as I walk around my hometown fair eating an absurd amount of not-so-healthy food, I’m always amazed at the huge lines at the stands selling homemade apple dumplings. So rather than spending time standing in line — and trying to make room for a dumpling in my already overstuffed stomach — I started making my own so I can enjoy them at home.

This recipe basically is a deconstructed version of my mom’s apple pie recipe.  I make my own crust, but store-bought also would work; just buy a double pie crust. You can make them in a 9X13-inch baking dish or, like I do, in individual foil pans, which are perfect for freezing.

Apple Dumplings
Serves 8
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
1 hr
For the Crust
  1. 21/2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  5. 1/2 cup cold water
For the Apples
  1. 8 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick stackable rounds (I use an apple peeler, which takes care of all these steps at one time; well worth the $20.)
  2. 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  4. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. 8 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided
For the Sauce
  1. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 3 cups water
  3. 2 cups granulated sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a sauce pan, stir together the sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes, until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the shortening, and with hands, combine until pea-size pieces form. Add cold water, and work with hands until a ball.
  4. Roll out dough on a floured surface. Cut into 8 8x8 inch squares.
  5. Place a sliced apple onto a square of dough. Add a teaspoon of butter and a teaspoon of the sugar mixture into the center of the apple. Sprinkle an additional teaspoon of the sugar mixture over the top and around the base of the apple.
  6. Fold corners of dough around and over the top of apple, gently pressing seams to seal.
  7. Place in a baking dish. Repeat with remaining dough and apples.
  8. Pour sauce over dumplings.
  9. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the apples are tender and the crust is golden.
  10. Cool slightly before serving.
  1. If freezing, cool entirely, then wrap with foil and store in an airtight bag in the freezer.
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