Apple dumplings just sound good. Ever since coming across a picture of apple dumplings in a 1970s Southern Living cookbook, I've wanted to bake them -- warm fruit, filled with spices and nuts or candy (like the Red Hots in that first Southern Living recipe), encased in a sweet pastry, baked to golden goodness and topped with cream.
Cream Cheese Pastry for Apple Dumplings
Adapted from the Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into 12 pieces
- 2 cups bleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 1/2 ounces cold cream cheese (or Neufchatel), cut into 4 pieces
- 2 tablespoons ice water
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- In a food processor, combine the dry ingredients and stir together for a couple seconds.
- Add the cream cheese and process for about 15 seconds or until mixture resembles crumbs. Add butter and process until all pieces are uniform and crumbly.
- Using tube, pour in ice water and cider vinegar, slowly and process until incorporated. Dough will still be in pieces.
- Remove the blade and dump the crumbly dough mixture into a large plastic bag. Using your fingers, press the mixture together. When it is a solid dough, press the air out, seal it and refrigerate for an hour or even overnight.
At least an hour before you plan to make the apple dumplings, make the pastry crust, so it will have time to chill out and relax.
- 1 recipe Cream Cheese Pastry
- flour for dusting
- 6 baking apples such as Golden Delicious
- juice of one-half lemon
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- Demerara or granulated sugar for glazing
- lightly sweetened whipped cream or plain yogurt sweetened with honey and cinnamon, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425°. Core apples, peel and brush with lemon juice.
- In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, pecans and spices.
- Divide dough into 6 equal pieces and using your favorite rolling pin, one at a time, roll each piece of dough approximately 6 inches square. Place apple on pastry, fill cavity with sugar and pecan mixture. Brush edges of pastry with egg white. Bring opposite corners to the top of the apple and press seams together, being careful so that juices don't escape in the baking.
- Place each dumpling on a parchment or Silpat-lined baking sheet. Brush with more egg white and sprinkle with Demerara or granulated sugar. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes. When pastry is golden, remove from oven. Serve dumplings warm, garnished with sweetened whipped cream or yogurt, perhaps with cinnamon stirred in.