Fall’s finale – Apple Dumplings

I promise this is my last fall entry using apples. I love using apples in desserts, so maybe I went a bit overboard. And if you’ve been reading my blog all along, you will notice that I have never made a chocolate dessert. Why? Because chocolate gives me migraines. Yes, it’s a sad, sad fact. The result is that I have to get even more creative with my desserts. Thankfully, there are plenty of vintage dessert recipes that don’t call for chocolate

Apple dumplings can be traced back to England in the 18th century, though I’m sure it predates that time. Apple dumplings in the 18th century were apples wrapped in dough and then boiled in cloth. By the 19th century apple dumplings were baked. For a good history of apple dumplings as found in several early cook books visit this blog.

My recipe dates from 1936 and is found in Martha Lee Anderson’s Successful Baking for Flavor and Texture. This small pamphlet cook book was put out by the makers of Arm & Hammer and Cow Brand Baking Soda. I seriously cheated on the recipe by not making my own crust. I used the Pillsbury rolled crust which is very easy to work with. I’m sure if I’d taken the time to make a crust from scratch these little babies would have been even better.     

Here’s the recipe:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening (I used butter)
  • 3/4 cup sour milk or buttermilk (I soured fresh milk by putting in 2 tbs. of lemon and letting it sit for 10 minutes)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced apples
  • sugar and cinnamon
  • butter

Sift the flour, baking soda and salt

Cut in shortening until it is as fine as course corn meal

Add enough sour milk to make a stiff dough

Turn onto a floured board and knead slightly

Roll into a rectangle about 20″ long and 10″ wide. Cut into eight 5″ squares

Place a small amount of apple in the center of each square

Dot generously with butter

Fold corners of square toward center and join them over the apples           

Place on a greased baking sheet

Bake in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes

Then pour over them a syrup of 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water what has been heated until all the sugar is dissolved

Return to oven and bake 15 minutes longer

Right out of the oven these were superb! Dan and I both loved them and had a serious problem with stopping eating them. The next day they were still good, but they are at their best when hot out of the oven. And if you cheat and use the pre-made crust, this is super simple and fast to make.

I did find that there was too much syrup and would cut the amount in half. A great vintage recipe for you that I hope you’ll enjoy!



One Response to “Fall’s finale – Apple Dumplings”

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  1. Bev says:

    Hey, that sounds so easy!, especially cheating with the crust!
    Glad to know what’s been causing your migraines! I ‘ve that that’s one of the big triggers! I’ll have to try these “babies” sometime!

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