Baked Apple Dumplings
This homey, old-fashioned dessert is good with brunch or a light supper.
- Servings: 4
Source: Martha Stewart Living, March 1995
For the dough:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 pound cold unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into small pieces
- Ice water
For the syrup:
- 1/4 cup light-brown sugar, packed
- 2 cups clear apple juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup Armagnac or brandy
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
For the filling:
- 2 tablespoons Armagnac or brandy
- 2 tablespoons dried cherries, chopped
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons finely ground blanched almonds
- 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon mace
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 McIntosh apples (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 lemon
- 4 cinnamon sticks
To seal and glaze dumplings:
- 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
To make the dough, place flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor and pulse 2 to 3 times to mix. Add butter and process approximately 10 seconds or until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 4 to 6 tablespoons ice water in a steady stream to the food processor with the motor running, processing just until mixture begins to hold together, no more than 30 seconds. Turn dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, press into a flat package, and wrap the plastic wrap around it. Chill for at least 1 hour.
Combine all ingredients for syrup in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until liquid is reduced by half and slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
To make the filling, combine Armagnac or brandy and dried cherries in a small bowl and let sit for about 20 minutes. Drain cherries, adding Armagnac to the syrup. In another small bowl, combine flour, ground almonds, brown sugar, butter, cherries, nutmeg, mace, and cinnamon, mixing well with a wooden spoon.
Peel apples and remove stem and top three-quarters of core, leaving 1/4 inch intact at the bottom. Cut the lemon into quarters and rub each apple with lemon to prevent discoloration. Divide the filling into 4 and fill the cavities of the apples. Insert a cinnamon stick into the filling of each apple. Wrap exposed part of each cinnamon stick with a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil to prevent burning. Set aside.
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and turn onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll dough to 1/8 inch thick and trim to a 14-inch square. Cut four 7-inch squares out of the dough. Brush the entire surface of one square lightly with beaten egg white and place an apple in the center. Enclose the apple by bringing two of the adjacent corners together at the top and pressing the dough together to create a triangular flap. Continue until you have 4 flaps. Lightly brush one side of each flap with egg white and press firmly against the apple. Repeat process with remaining dough and apples. Transfer to a plate and chill for 15 minutes. Make an egg wash by mixing together the egg yolk and heavy cream. Brush the dumplings lightly with the egg wash and transfer to an 11-by-17-inch roasting pan, spacing the dumplings at least 1 inch apart.
Place dumplings in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees, remove dumplings from oven, and pour reserved syrup over them. Return to oven and bake 10 minutes, basting twice. Continue baking until deep golden brown, about another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with warm syrup.