I've decided to start a new series here at sprightly, called Get in My Belly! (a nod to Austin Powers for the title. and an apology to those readers who know which character uttered this fabulous phrase and now have crude, grotesque and wrong (yet iamashamedtosay funny) images now running through your brains. sorry.)
GET IN MY BELLY will be recipes that I love and MUST share!
A few weeks ago I posted my Thai Basil and Beef Stir Fry recipe. Go here for some others I've posted over the years.
The latest and greatest recipe is one I snatched out of my latest Cook's Country magazine. For Christmas last year, I gave my dad a Pie of the Month club (12 pies *made with love* by me) and this year for Christmas he received the Supper of the Month club (1 meal each month (dinner/dessert) also *made with love* by me). This month's dinner was Mexican Beef and Hominy Soup, Cornbread and Baked Apple Dumplings.
This was the first time I've made Baked Apple Dumplings and they were so EASY. This recipe has you making your own puff pastry, but I knew I was going to be short on time because I also had a luncheon to cater that day, so I purchased the Pepperidge Farms pre-made puff pastry. It is a great substitute.
Baked Apple Dumplings
Cook's Country (November 2009)
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 (recipe below). Other sweet, moderately firm apples, such as Braeburns or Galas, can be used in this recipe.
Dough (or use pre-made puff pastry and skip to step 2)
2½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and chilled
5 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into ½-inch pieces and chilled
¾ cup 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. (**note - here I combined all the cinnamon sugar mixture with the raisin mixture and just made extra cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on the top**) Peel apples and halve through equator. 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. 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. (I did not cut a hole in the top of mine - and they turned out great.)
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.
Makes about 1½ cups
To make this sauce up to 2 days in advance, reduce the cider mixture until it measures 1½ cups, then refrigerate. When ready to serve, return mixture to simmer and whisk in butter and lemon juice off heat.
1 cup apple cider
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Bring cider, water, sugar, and cinnamon to simmer in saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until thickened and reduced to 1½ cups, about 15 minutes. Off heat, whisk in butter and lemon juice. Drizzle over dumplings to serve.
photo credit: Kander + Kander, Cook's Country