Oh. My. Freaking. Holy. Mother of Carbohydrates. It's the syrup that makes them to die for.
It started out as a huge recipe from a friend of hers and Suzanne cut it in half. It's still a big recipe, so I cut it in half again to make 'only' 8. This is the recipe that I used and they were still super sweet. Next time, I'd leave out the sugar inside the pouches completely and just let them soak up the sweet from the syrup.
Apple Dumplings a la Chickens in the Road
www.rurification.com. Original double recipe from www.chickensintheroad.com
Yield: 8 large dumplings
Prep time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 55 minutes
Oven: 350 degrees
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 2/3 cup milk
- 5-6 apples, peeled, cored and cut into small pieces
- 8 Tablespoons sugar [I'd leave this out next time]
Deal with the apples first. You want pieces small enough to chew politely in the pastry. You'll have about 8 cups. Set the apples aside. Find some cinnamon that's easy to sprinkle and set it near the apples. If you're going to add the extra sugar in each apple pouch, then have a bowl of sugar and a tablespoon ready next to the apples and the cinnamon.
Syrup: Combine ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Dough: Combine flour, salt and baking powder well. Cut in shortening until the mix resembles sand. Add milk and mix with fork or your hand until just combined. [If you handle the pastry too much, it gets tough.] This is a great pastry recipe, easy to deal with.
Assembly: Divide the dough into 8 equal balls. Roll each ball on a floured surface until you have a circle about 8 inches across. Put a cup of apple pieces into the center of the circle. Sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of sugar. [These are really sweet! You don't need the sugar here. I'd omit it!]. Bring the sides of the circle together and form a pouch. Press the edges together if you can, but if you can't, don't worry about it. It's fine if they're open.
Place assembled dumplings in a greased baking pan. [9x13 holds 8 dumplings]. Pour the syrup over the dumplings and bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes. They should be golden.