Apple dumplings are a simple, wonderful fall dessert. My husband and I look forward to making these every fall!
Fall is coming! I am so excited, as you’ve probably been able to tell for…a while. 😛 Fall means a lot of things to me. For Zach, though, it means only two things: football and apple dumplings.
A lot of people associate apple dumplings with summer, but everything to do with apples is very fall-ish to me, and this dish is no exception. I don’t know how this recipe originated, but I got it from my grandmother. She makes two or three batches every fall and sends them to my mom and my uncle. Once Zach and I got married and moved away, she gave me the recipe so I could make my own. And now it’s a fall tradition that we both look forward to each year.
In fact, he came home last Friday, had a couple beers, and then begged me to just make them already. And since I love him, I got out my baking supplies at 7:30 in the evening (well after I had finished my nightly kitchen cleaning) and set to work.
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Grandma’s Apple Dumplings
- 1 (40 oz) box of Jiffy (the all-purpose baking stuff, NOT the cornbread stuff)
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups of water
- 4 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (this is made easier with an apple and potato peeler)
- 10-12 tbsps butter
- 10-12 tbsps sugar
- 10-12 tsps cinnamon
- milk or heavy cream, for brushing
Step 01: Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a medium-to-large bowl, mix your Jiffy (or Bisquick–I prefer Jiffy) with 2 cups of water. Do not use an electric mixer. This stuff will gum it up really badly. Use a fork and/or your hands. (FYI, I’ve found that just using my hands is more effective. You are going to get messy anyway, so you may as well just dive right in there.) Keep another 1/2 cup of water on hand and, as needed, pour little bits into the mixture. You want a sticky, gummy consistency. For me, it usually comes out to a total of 2 cups plus 2-3 tablespoons of water.
Step 02: Sprinkle flour over your work area and separate the dough into 10-12 balls.
Step 03: Roll each ball in the flour and then flatten with a rolling pin. Put 3-4 apple slices on the dough, top with 1 tablespoon of butter (sticks are easiest), sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Fold the corners of the dumpling over the apple slices and place into a greased 13×9-inch baking dish.
Note: Only about 6 dumplings can fit into the 13×9-inch dish. If you want to bake them all at the same time, make sure you have multiple dishes handy (casserole dishes work, too).
Step 04: Once all of the dumplings have been placed in the baking dishes, fill a measuring cup up with about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of milk or heavy cream. Use a marinade brush to brush the milk over the tops of the dumplings. Press the moistened creases together to seal them. (This will prevent them from opening up as they bake.) Pour whatever milk you have leftover into the bottom of the baking dishes.
Step 05: Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the tops are a light, golden brown and the apples are soft. Remove from the oven and immediately tent the baking dishes with aluminum foil and let them sit for 15 minutes. I’ve been told this helps lock in the moisture. (I don’t know if that’s true. But I do know that the one time I forgot to do this, they turned out dry and nasty.)
Step 06: Serve and enjoy! I like mine in a bowl with a little milk.
You can also put them in an individual dish and bake them one-at-a-time. Just freeze the others by wrapping them in separate pieces of wax paper or aluminum foil and then placing them in a freezer bag.
These are so delicious! They can be a pain to make, but it’s so worth it! They’re the only dessert I have ever made Zach that he refuses to take to work and share. In fact, I suggested it yesterday and his response was, “No! They’re mine.” The fact that he only gets them once or twice a year might also be a factor, though. 😛
They can be frozen for up to 6 months. So if you live alone and are worried they’ll go bad (or you want to make a ton so you have a whole supply of them for this fall), just stick them in a freezer bag or wrap them in aluminum foil to freeze. When you’re ready for one, remove them from the packaging and then pop them in the oven for a few minutes. (You can also use a microwave, but I prefer the oven.)
As for what kind of apples you should use: I like to use Granny Smith because they retain their crispness even after they’re baked. Also, the tartness creates a nice contrast with the breading. But you can use whatever apples you like!
Edit 9/27/14: It’s less messy if you lay down parchment paper (why am I just now thinking of this!?).
Also, since I posted this recipe I’ve seen more renditions of apple dumplings than I ever have (which I know is coincidence–my blog isn’t big enough to inspire a fad). What I’ve noticed is that many of them are drowned in things like syrup, ice cream, or sauces. Which is fine and I’m sure it’s delicious. But what I love about my grandmother’s apple dumplings is how simple they are. I’m not overloaded by competing flavors (apples and cinnamon and caramel and ice cream…). It’s a nice change from some of the more complex recipes on this blog.