Made this apple dumpling recipe recently for a mid-western themed dinner. They were awesome! And it's a lovely do-ahead dish for entertaining. We completed all the steps right down to brushing the pastry with eggwhite in the morning, and then at dinnertime just threw them in a hot oven when dessert service looked like it was about 30 minutes out. The aromas from the hot steaming dumplings was fantastic. Two other things, because we were doing 'small plates' we actually used quarters, not halves, and we rubbed the peeled apples with lemon juice as a precaution against browning. Here's the recipe:
Use a melon baller or a metal teaspoon measure to core the apples. We like to serve the dumplings warm with vanilla ice cream and Cider Sauce (see Cider Sauce recipe). Other sweet, moderately firm apples, such as Braeburns or Galas, can be used in this recipe.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
5 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
3/4 cups cold buttermilk
6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons golden raisins, chopped
4 Golden Delicious apples (see note)
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1. Make Dough: Process flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in food processor until combined. Scatter butter and shortening over flour mixture and pulse until mixture resembles wet sand. Transfer to bowl. Stir in buttermilk until dough forms. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead briefly until dough is cohesive. Press dough into 8- by 4-inch rectangle. Cut in half, wrap each half tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
2. Prep Apples: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. In second bowl, combine butter, raisins, and 3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar mixture. Peel apples and halve through equator. Following photos 1 and 2, remove core and pack butter mixture into each apple half.
3. Assemble Dumplings: On lightly floured surface, roll each dough half into 12-inch square. Cut each 12-inch square into four 6-inch squares. Working one at a time, lightly brush edges of dough square with egg white and place apple, cut-side up, in center of each square. Following photo 3, gather dough one corner at a time on top of apple, crimping edges to seal. Using paring knife, cut vent hole in top of each dumpling.
4. Finish Apples: Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Following photo 4, arrange dumplings on prepared baking sheet, brush tops with egg white, and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar. Bake until dough is golden brown and juices are bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 10 minutes. Serve with cider sauce.
Additional notes from Cooks Country:
Two Rotten Apples
Some apples, such as McIntosh, can't take the heat. They turn into applesauce before the pastry is baked.
Whole apples are barely cooked when the pastry is done. To avoid that, we use halved Golden Delicious.
Dumpling Assembly Line
According to an 1888 Good Housekeeping article on apple dumplings, King George III (1738-1820) had been sadly puzzled to know how the apple came inside the dumpling." (Is it any wonder that he lost the American colonies?) Here's how, Your Highness:
1. Scoop out the core and seeds, taking care not to pierce the bottom of the apple halves.
2. Divide the butter mixture among the apple halves, filling the hollows.
3. Fold the corners of the dough up to enclose the apple halves, overlapping and crimping to seal.
4. Arrange the dumplings on baking sheet, brush with egg white, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov