The marriage of apples and pastry is a familiar, comforting one. Apple dumplings are a bit homier than the typical apple pie or tart and very easy to make. Choose a crisp baking apple, such as pippin or Granny Smith, and be sure to peel them just prior to baking to avoid browning. These apple dumplings is one of the Country Bakery’s biggest sellers.–Joann Cianciulli
For the pie pastry
- 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter cut into small chunks
- 2 tablespoons ice water plus more if needed
For the apple dumplings
- 1 recipe pie pastry
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 4 Granny Smith or pippin apples peeled and cored but left whole
- 4 maraschino cherries
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup hot water
Make the pie pastry
- Combine the 2 cups flour, the sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender or your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour in the 2 tablespoons ice water; work it in to bind the dough until it holds together without being too wet or sticky.
- Squeeze a small amount together; if it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time. Form the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (Feel free to make the dough the night before if you prefer.)
Make the apple dumplings
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll the pastry out into a rectangle and cut evenly into four 6-inch squares. Gather up the scraps and roll out again. Using a 3-inch ring cutter, cut out 4 circles. Brush the surface of the pastry with some of the beaten eggs.
- Place an apple in the center of each square of dough. Stuff the core of each apple with a cherry. In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon. Fill the apple centers with the cinnamon sugar. Bring the corners of the dough up to cover each apple and pinch the edges to seal. Set the pastry rounds on top of the apple dumplings like a little hat. Brush the dumplings with the beaten eggs.
- Put the apple dumplings in the prepared pan. Bake the dumplings until the pastry is golden brown and the apples are tender but not dissolved into apple sauce, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Put the confectioners’ sugar in a bowl and slowly pour in the hot water, stirring until the sugar is a pourable consistency. Drizzle over the apple dumplings and let cool slightly so the icing is hardened before serving. Serve warm with heavy cream or ice cream.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
These apple dumplings were fun to make with my granddaughter. We love apples, so this was any easy choice. These dumplings have all the flavor and a nice crust that makes a good, simple dessert. There are so many ways to jazz up the dumplings with nuts, raisins. I’ll make this again in a heartbeat.
Apple dumplings are a great fall recipe that can be eaten warm or cold. The cinnamon-sugar mixture sweetens the apples very nicely.
Apple dumplings that wear a hat? Now that’s not only charming but tasteful in every way. I just love how staple ingredients like salt, sugar, butter, and flour can be used to make a sweet and sophisticated crust but still maintain a humble tone. Combine them with tart and tasty apples, and you have a delightful dessert that you won’t be able to resist. My family and friends just marveled over the golden presentation of the dumplings and couldn’t wait to drive a fork through the flaky crust. One bite had us honing in on another. No one could pass up the classic pairing of apples and cinnamon sugar. It was scrumptious to say the least, and even tastier with a maraschino cherry. The cherry simply burst with brightness. It made such a sweet impression on the taste of the dumplings and on us, too.
Great, simple, fast dessert. The dumplings are the perfect combination—not to tart and not to sweet. Family and friends loved the dumplings! I served them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
I love the fact that this dumpling recipe produces its own little apple pie. The dough was the perfect texture and had a rich, buttery flavor to complement the apples. I cannot wait to make these again.
The dumpling crust was so flaky and light, this was by far one of the best recipes I’ve tested. So simple and delicious. Afterwards I made a double batch to bring to a party this evening, great recipe!! The pastry was flaky and delicious and the apple was soft and warm, having come out of the oven an hour or so earlier…didn’t need ice cream or anything else to go with it.
Originally published September 15, 2009