Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mama's Apple Dumplings

I think that most people have those certain foods that their mom made growing up, no matter how fancy or not, that just make you feel so comforted.  Since my brothers and I were completely spoiled with the best mom who has always been the best cook, there are so many favorites!  One favorite that has even spread onto each of our spouses as well is my Mama's Apple Dumplings.  I know I'm a mid-west girl from Ohio and not a southern one with an accent, but when talking about dumplings it only feels right to say "mama's" instead of "mom's."  Don't you think?  Her apple dumplings are so good.  I don't even think their is a season for them, I make them year round.  In fact, they are what my hubby wanted me to make for his father's day dessert this year.  Comfort food at its best, right here!
They are best hot out of the oven, but if you happen to have any left over they are great reheated in the microwave too.  Most members of our family pour in a slash or two of milk when we eat ours, but feel free to top them with ice cream or whipped cream or anything else your heart desires.  These are also easy to adapt to make them GF by substituting your favorite GF double pie crust recipe or using GF all-purpose flour in the following recipe.  Or if you feel way too intimidated to making your own pie crust, go buy some ready to use crust from the grocery store and tell everyone you made it.  :)  Sometimes when it's colder out we'll have double dumpling night and I'll make Apple Dumplings and Dumpling Soup for dinner.  Yum!

Double Pie Crust

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup chilled shortening, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup (or 1 stick) butter, cut into small cubes
4-8 T ice cold water

-Combine flour and salt.
-Cut shortening and butter into flour using a pastry blender or by pulsing in a food processor until it looks like coarse crumbs with pea size pieces. 
-Add in water a couple tablespoons at a time, mixing until the dough holds together.
-Form dough into 2 balls and flatten on 2 pieces of plastic wrap
-Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes before rolling out.
-Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to desired size and place in pie plate

Mama's Apple Dumplings 
makes 6-8 dumplings

Double Pie Crust, prepared
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into small cubes
1/2 tsp vanilla
1T cinnamon or cinnamon spice mixture
about 1 stick of butter
about 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups dark Karo syrup
2-3 cups of water

-Preheat oven to 400
-In a bowl combine apples, vanilla and cinnamon, mix until apples are evenly coated with cinnamon.

-In a 9x13 baking dish, whisk together Karo syrup and water. (For a thicker sauce less water for a thinner sauces more water.  Either way it will be watery at this point.)  Whisk it until it is fully combined.
-Roll out your prepared pie crust  in one large rectangular shape.
-Use a knife to cut into fairly equal size "squares."  They do not have to be perfect.
-In the middle of each "square" put a large spoonful of apples.  Top apples with about 1 T butter and 1 T brown sugar.  More or less of each to your liking.

-Fold corners of each "square up and form into a ball, pinching all sides to conceal the apples with no openings.
-Place sealed up dumpling in syrup in baking dish

-Repeat with remaining dumplings
-Sprinkle tops of dumpling with extra cinnamon if you desired
-Bake at 400 for 45-60 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

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