Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Midweek - Apple Dumplings

Have had so many request for the recipe for the apple dumplings I made Memorial Day so I  thought it would be easier, quicker anyway, to just post it to my blog.  First, let me tell you the story behind this recipe.

I grew up in south east New Mexico, then moved back to West Texas where I married and started my own little family.  The towns were about 2 hours drive from each other.  At any rate, there is a chain of restaurants called Furr's Cafeteria.  When ever we would go to one of the near by larger towns to shop or for one of my parent's many square dances, we would go eat there.  Everyone could go through the line and pick out what you wanted to eat.  They have the most delicious apple dumplings.  That was my first introduction to this wonderful dessert.  This version of the dumpling, I say that because I have since found out there as many versions of a dumpling as there are cooks, is more like a cobbler.  The apples were chopped in rather large chunks.  Thicker than a slice, not as long as a slice, thicker pieces than a dice.  A dice?  Yes, the fruit pieces were about the size of playing dice.  The fruit was mixed in with a wonderful thick pastry dough and then covered with a thick syrup.

A side note about cobblers.  When it comes to cobblers, you are either a fruit person or a dough person. My hubby and sons have always been fruit people.  In other words, they liked to eat the fruit out of the cobbler.  My daughters and I are more dough people, preferring to have a lot of crust, especially the softer part that didn't crust.  I prefer the dough so much that I have always made my cobbler with a bottom crust as well as the top one. I know, sounds like I am making a double crusted fruit pie, but it is different.  Don't know what makes the difference, maybe the deeper dish, but it is just not the same in pie form.  This has always worked out well for our family, the boys dished theirs up first grabbing mostly fruit and the crisper crust strips on top.  This left the bottom half of the dish for us girls.  Sweet fruit and a softer crust from the bottom.

Back to the dumplings.  Once I moved to California, and there were no Furr's, I was on the look out for a replacement for this treat.  We have a local wild life exhibit called C.A.L.Mwhich stands for California Living Museum.  Each December they hold their annual fundraiser, the place is decorated up with Christmas lights, train rides, light shows and for a small fee you can come out during the night and walk through the park, looking at the lights, seeing any animals that are normally nocturnal, ending up with a visit to the snake house to warm up.  They have food booths and one of those booths sell Apple dumplings with this amazing thick, rich, almost ice cream like scoop of whipped cream.  HOWEVER...I was shocked when I bought one to split with my youngest daughter.  I had been telling her about the dumplings for about an hour while we walked the trail.  She was very young when we moved and did not remember us going to Furr's.  What shocked me was cutting in to the dumpling to find an apple.  A whole apple, well cored and peeled, but whole.  I know, apple dumpling, what else would be inside?  I had never seen one with a whole apple stuck inside it.  Don't get me wrong, it was delicious, we ate every bite of the one we shared.  BUT, IT WAS A WHOLE APPLE.

So started my searching the internet for a recipe.  Mind you, this was before Google, you would have Yahoo, or AOL search engines, among others, and you would get different results because they all read your request a little differently.  I never found one, even the copy cat style recipes for Furr's had whole apples.  Then one day I happened on an old issue of Taste of Home magazine.  OH I JUST LOVE THESE MAGAZINES. Originally it was published  in the Oct/Sep 2001 issue of Quick Cooking.  Quick Cooking was my favorite, it was revamped a bit and morphed in to the magazine Simple & Delicious.  Still a great magazine but not quite the same.  You can search all the recipes Taste of Home and it's sisters has published. Click on Simple Apple Dumplings for the link to the original recipe.  If you do a search on their site for "apple dumpling" you will get about 30 hits.  I really miss the Quick Cooking magazine.  The recipes were all made with few ingredients (most times five or less) and could be prepared in 30 minutes or less.  Cooking time that is.

If  you don't want to link hop, here is the recipe with my little changes in ( ).

This really is a simple quick easy dessert.
Simple Apple Dumplings - Quick Cooking Oct/Sept 2001 issue

1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls
2 med. apples, peeled and quartered (I have used left over pre-packaged slices that I peel)
1 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice (I usually use what I have on hand - Sunny D)
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice (I don't have it so I just sprinkle on nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon)

Unroll crescent dough and separate in to eight triangles.  Roll up one apple wedge (I use two slices) in each triangle; pinch edges to seal.  

Place in a greased 8 in. square baking dish.  

In a small saucepan, bring sugar, orange juice and butter to a boil.  Pour over dumplings (dumplings will float to the top). Sprinkle with spice.  Bake uncovered at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm.

i double the recipe every time because the family loves this so much. (I don't know if I do something wrong, but I always have way to much syrup to use)  I am going to make a batch and freeze it to see how that works.  Am also going to make a regular batch and try the syrup with Splenda.  I usually serve with whipped cream.

I also thought I would post a photo of how my garden is growing.
As you can see, nothing has died.  The front container has lettuce and cucumbers, behind in center is two tomato plants, peppers and strawberries on either side.

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment.

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