Apple Dumplings are probably my most favorite FALL dessert.
As I type this, I’m already trying to wrangle an Autumn Picnic, complete with Apple Dumplings, onto our calendar. Fall is my favorite. The leaves turning right before my eyes, the cool mornings and evenings, the hot sunshine during the day. The shadows are different, the air feels reminiscent, and morning coffee even smells better in the fall. I wish this season lasted till spring!
This apple dumpling recipe has been in my family for decades.
I’m pretty sure the recipe came from my Grandma, and I definitely remember watching my mom and my aunt make them. It was quite the production, and always an occasion we looked forward to.
Recipe follows at the end of this post! I honestly have never tasted a better recipe for this dessert. It is a bit time consuming and takes a bit of finesse to put together, but totally worth it. Getting the cinnamon/sugar mixture inside the hollow of the apples is the tricky part, but just have fun with it. Know that no matter how it ends up, it will be delicious. I’ve totally patched these together with bits and pieces of dough when it was falling apart and not cooperating and they taste just as good as when they come together perfectly.
Gala, Honey Gold, or Courtland are our favorite apples to use for apple dumplings. We use Courtland for our applesauce and it is our absolute fav for sauce. We also have a favorite place to get our apples in the all – Downing Fruit Farm in Darke County Ohio. Their cider is the best ever too – raw and at least 5 varieties of apples in every gallon!
In my humble opinion, apple dumplings are the best apple dessert. I think my dad would disagree – he likes apple pie better! Another great, old recipe my family loves is called Apple Goodie. It’s an apple crisp with oats and lots of cinnamon. My family will usually eat any dessert I make because I don’t often take the time to make one.
So back to an Apple Dumpling Picnic
All it takes is a batch of baked apple dumplings, a can of whipped cream (totally optional on the whipped cream but it adds so much fun!), a cute tablecloth, plates and forks. If you have it, add some apple cider in pretty glasses too!
You can load it all in the car and find a park near you to set up your picnic, or just do as I did and take it to your own backyard. The fresh air and sunshine will make the dumplings taste even better, I promise. Adding some old books and apples for a fun pop of decor to your picnic is optional too, but lots of fun.
Other fun favorites of mine for fall (not all are food!) are pumpkin/salted caramel concrete mixers from Culvers, homemade squash soup, cozy sweatshirts, stuffed acorn squash, apple cider (frozen on hot days, heated on cold days), lighting candles, making the first pot of chili for the season, jackets with sandals weather, a fire in the solo stove in the back yard.
As I’m typing this, I am sitting in my backyard, feeling the fall breeze, and flicking leaves off my computer as they fall from overhead. I’ve not been feeling very inspired to get this post written and published so I opted for the outdoors today. It’s been so many years now since I posted to the blog that I’m rusty and feel like I’ve forgotten how to write.
I wanted to bring you a fun, fall tale today but the words just weren’t coming so I’m just blathering on about apple dumplings and fall and a little about picnics since I did put picnic in the title of this post. I do hope somehow something written here, or perhaps the lovely photos, will inspire you to gather your family and have a fall picnic. Don’t feel like making the dessert, or don’t have the time? Go grab something from your local bakery and have that picnic anyway. I promise it will make a fun memory.
6-8 apples depending on size
For the Dough
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup butter or lard or refined coconut oil
- 6 TBLS water
For the Syrup
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 5 tsp butter
For the Apple Center Filling
- Heat oven to 400°
- Grease a 9x13 baking pan.
- Mix sugar and cinnamon together to the ratio you prefer. We do 1/2 cup sugar to 2-3 TBLS cinnamon. Add more or less cinnamon to your desired taste.
- Set aside
- Mix flour, salt and butter/lard/oil for the dough. (I use lard)
- Add water and mix gently till combined.
- Let rest while prepping the apples, sugar mix, and syrup.
- In a saucepan, combine sugar, water, cinnamon, and butter.
- Bring to boil, boil 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Cut apples in half starting at stem.
- Peel, cut out seed, core, and ends, leaving two halves with hollowed out centers.
- Put a dot of butter in the hollow of one side of each apple.
- Roll out pie dough, divide into 6-8pieces (depending how many apples you are using), each large enough to wrap a whole apple.
- Set both halves of one whole apple onto a piece of pie dough.
- Carefully pour a teaspoon or two of the cinnamon/sugar mixture into the center, holding halves of apple together with one hand.
- Wrap dough up around the apple, firmly pressing dough edges together to completely encase the apple in the dough.
- Place each dough wrapped apple into prepared pan.
- Pour syrup over and around apple dumplings.
- Bake 400° for 1 hour
Another recipe that is fun for fall is my Cherry Pie. It’s my absolute fav for pie so make sure to check that out too.
Have a favorite fall recipe you love? Let me know in the comments! Also let me know if you make these apple dumplings!