Old-Fashioned Apple Dumplings

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Old-fashioned apple dumplings in baking dish

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

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 2 c. flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 c. shortening
  • 6-7 Tbsp. cold water

Syrup:

  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine

Filling:

  • 6 medium apples, peeled and cored
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. In saucepan, combine sugar, water, and cinnamon for syrup and bring to a boil; remove from heat and add butter or margarine. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon for filling.
  4. On lightly floured surface, roll dough into 18×12-inch rectangle. Cut into six 6-inch squares.
  5. 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.
  6. Place dumplings in greased 9×13 baking pan. Pour syrup over dumplings.
  7. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 45-50 minutes, or until apples are tender and dumplings are lightly browned.

Old-fashioned apple dumplings in baking dish

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.
Baking dish filled with old-fashioned apple dumplings

Old-Fashioned Apple Dumplings

Ingredients
  

  • Dough:
  • 2 c. flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 c. shortening
  • 6-7 Tbsp. cold water
  • Syrup:
  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • Filling:
  • 6 medium apples peeled and cored
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • 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 18x12-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 in greased 9x13 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.

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24 Comments

  1. Yes you can freeze these without sauce on them. When ready to use, take from freezer make up sauce or syrup pour over dumplings and bake. They are just as good.

  2. These are great, but I would also love your mother-in-law’s amazing apple cake recipe! Thanks!

    1. Judy Hoch says:

      Hey Sherry, give me a day or two and I will post the apple cake recipe. I’m planning to make it this week myself! 🙂