Delicious homemade apple desserts are a much-anticipated part of fall at our house. We love apple pie, apple crisp, and my mother-in-law’s amazing apple cake.
Without a doubt, though, our family’s favorite apple treat is old-fashioned apple dumplings. My oldest son loves them so much that I’ve even made them for his birthday instead of cake.
If you live in another part of the country, you may not be familiar with traditional Pennsylvania Dutch apple dumplings. Just imagine apples filled with sugar and cinnamon, wrapped in flaky pastry, and then baked in a rich syrup. So delicious!
Old-Fashioned Apple Dumplings Recipe
- 2 c. flour
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 2/3 c. shortening
- 6-7 Tbsp. cold water
- 1 1/2 c. water
- 1 1/2 c. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
- 6 medium apples, peeled and cored
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- For dough, combine dry ingredients in bowl; cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add water 1-2 Tbsp. at a time, stirring just until dough is moistened and forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
- In saucepan, combine sugar, water, and cinnamon for syrup and bring to a boil; remove from heat and add butter or margarine. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon for filling.
- On lightly floured surface, roll dough into 18×12-inch rectangle. Cut into six 6-inch squares.
- Place an apple in the center of each square; fill center with approximately 1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar-cinnamon mixture. Moisten edges of squares; fold corners to center and pinch edges together.
- Place dumplings in greased 9×13 baking pan. Pour syrup over dumplings.
- Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 45-50 minutes, or until apples are tender and dumplings are lightly browned.
Tips for Making Old-Fashioned Apple Dumplings
- Choose a type of apple that is good for cooking or baking. I personally use and love Cortland apples, but there are other varieties that would work equally well.
- I “cheat” on the crust and make it in the food processor instead of by hand. It makes very little difference in the quality of the crust, and I’m all about saving time!
- Don’t skip moistening the dough as you fold the dumpling together. It really does help the crust seal.