Tuesday, September 30, 2014


We almost didn't make it to the Apple Festival over the weekend... 
I was busy doing a little bit of everything, 
except getting my apple dumplings made for the bake-off.
As it turned out... we did go to the Apple Festival,
it was loads of fun and the apple dumplings 
won first place!

Below is THE winning recipe... AND a mini photo tutorial to walk you through the basic steps.

A printable recipe is here: APPLE DUMPLING PRINTABLE RECIPE
If the apple dumplings look like too much trouble, I can assure you they are not. These apple dumplings are worth every moment you spend making them...

The pastry dough is similar (this one is more buttery) to my usual recipe,...
I'm including a link from an earlier pie dough tutorial, if you need a point in the right direction regarding pie dough; it's a great place to start.  It's OK to use store bought if you want...I won't tell, if you don't tell! 
Click for tutorial: Perfect Pie Crust


Karri Perry| Blue Ribbon Kitchen | BlueRibbonKitchen.blogspot.com

Pie Dough
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter flavored Crisco-chilled
1 cup unsalted butter-chilled
1/4 cup ice water + 1/4 cup vodka

Cut butter and Crisco into the flour/sugar/salt mixture with a pastry blender.  Once butter and Crisco is in tiny pieces and the mixture is uniform, begin slowly adding the liquid.

Add just enough ice cold water/vodka mixed 50/50- to bring dough together.

Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and chill dough for at least 1 hour before using.

Egg wash
1 egg – beaten
1 Tablespoon water

Crumb Topping
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter - softened
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
 1/2 tsp nutmeg
Combine using a fork, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Honey Caramel Sauce
In a saucepan over medium heat:
1 stick of butter
1 cup of packed brown sugar
1/3 cup of honey
½ cup heavy cream
(¼ cup of warm water to thin if needed)
Melt butter; add sugar, honey and cream.  Heat until bubbly and all sugar is dissolved.  Turn off heat.  Let honey caramel sauce rest on stove top until needed.  Thin with the water if the sauce is too thick to pour easily.

4-5 small to medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored

Filling for apples
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cardamom
1 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbs.butter divided for the 5 apples
Mix spices and sugar together in a small bowl.

Prepare pie dough, let chill for at least 1 hour or overnight before rolling out.
Combine sugar and spices for filling apples, set aside.  
Make crumb topping, set aside. 
Make honey caramel sauce, set aside. 
Peel and core apples.  Cover apples in lemon water and set aside. 
Roll out dough into a rectangle ¼ inch thick. Cut into fourths.  Place a prepared apple in center of dough square.  
Place a slice of butter (approx. 1 tsp) inside apple.  Fill apple center with 1-2 Tbs. of the cinnamon sugar filling mixture.  Top each apple with a handful of crumb topping gently molding it on top of the apple.  
Fold dough up and around apple, covering the crumb topping and pinching sides to seal at the edges.  Repeat for each apple. Place dough covered apples into a buttered baking dish.  
Roll out chilled reserved dough. Use decorative cutters to make leaf shapes for top of apples if desired.  Use egg wash to attach cut-out shapes to apples, lightly brush apples with egg wash.  
Chill prepared apples for 10 minutes in the freezer. 
Pour honey-caramel sauce around apples.  
Bake on middle rack, in preheated 400-degree oven for 50-60 minutes, or until filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown.  Lightly cover apples with foil after 20 minutes or half way through baking if crust is becoming too brown. Allow to cool. 

Start Here:

Now it's time to make the apple dumplings!!

1. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface.  I love using waxed paper underneath, it makes clean-up a snap.  Use a sturdy apple corer like the one in photo 1.  Make sure all the seeds and hard membranes are removed.  Feel the inside of the apple to make sure it is smooth and seed-free.  Let peeled and cored apples rest in lemon water so they don't turn brown, as you prepare the rest of the apples.

2.  I like to slice the very bottom and very top of the apples to give the apple a nice base to sit on and a flat surface on which to mound the crumb topping. 

3.  Fill the apple with a pat of butter and 1-2 Tbs of spiced filling mixture.  If the spiced mixture gets on the outside of the apple--even better...it just adds more flavor.

4.  A crumb topping, lightly mounded on top of the apple.
The top photo shows covering and pinching the dough edges closed around the apple and crumb topping.
Followed by cutting out decorative shapes.  These shapes are super cute.  I found these at Williams~Sonoma... piecrust cutters are also available at other kitchen and cookware stores.  E-bay is a great resource to find older/retired cutters too.  If you don't have piecrust cutters, use any cookie cutter shape that you like, even letters, or hand cut dough leaves would be cute.
Place dough covered apples into a buttered baking dish.
CHILL for 10 MINUTES  in the freezer BEFORE baking.  When cold dough hits the heat from a hot oven, great...amazing... things happen to pie dough.  It becomes light and flaky and keeps it's shape.  If you put soft or warm dough into a hot oven, it falls flat, melts and will not lift and it becomes oily.  As a general rule of thumb, try to keep your dough cool to cold while working with it.  It is even a good idea to pop each completed apple dumpling into the freezer as you finish each one, so the dough stays nice and chilled.

Remove baking dish of apple dumplings from the freezer after 10 minutes...
pour the waiting honey-caramel sauce AROUND the apples.
Bake apples in a 400 degree oven for 50 minutes or until browned and bubbling. Check apple dumplings after the first 20 minutes, if they are getting too brown on top, place a sheet of aluminum foil gently on top to protect the crust.

Let cool slightly before serving.  If making ahead,  let cooled apple dumplings warm in a 300 degree oven for 7 minutes.  This will soften the caramel sauce and allow easier serving.  These apple dumplings are even better with a little vanilla ice cream.... ENJOY!



  1. Yummmmm! I just don't know what else to say! Pinning this for later. The apples are still good here. Linda @bushelandapickle.com

    1. Hi Linda! These apple dumplings were delicious. I hope you enjoy them too!!