Here, a buttery, flaky dough cloaks sweet-tart apples stuffed with almond streusel. They are then drizzled with luscious caramel sauce and baked. Use Pink Lady, Granny Smith, Cortland or other sweet-tart baking apples for the best results.
Old-Fashioned Apple Dumplings
For the dough:
- 2 cups (10 oz./315 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) plus 2 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) ice water, plus more as needed
For the almond streusel:
- 5 Tbs. (2 1/2 oz./75 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (2 oz./60 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (1 oz./30 g) rolled oats
- 1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) chopped toasted almonds
- 1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 6 sweet-tart baking apples
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water
- 2 cups (14 oz./440 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Crème fraîche for serving (optional)
1. To make the dough, in a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Pulse 2 or 3 times to mix the ingredients evenly. Add the butter and pulse 8 to 10 times, until the butter pieces are the size of peas. Add the ice water and pulse 10 to 12 times. Stop the machine and squeeze a dough piece. If it crumbles, add more water, 1 Tbs. at a time, and pulse just until the dough holds together when pinched. When ready, it should come together in a rough mass in the bowl but not form a ball. Do not overmix. Shape into a compact disk. Wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.
2. While the dough is chilling, make the streusel topping: In a bowl, stir together the melted butter and vanilla. In another bowl, using a fork, stir together the flour, oats, almonds, brown sugar and salt. Add the butter mixture and stir until evenly blended and crumbly. Set aside.
3. Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C).
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle that is slightly larger than 14 by 21 inches (35 by 53 cm) and trim the edges evenly. Cut into six 7-inch (18-cm) squares. (Alternatively, divide the dough into 6 equal pieces and roll each into a 7-inch/18-cm square.)
5. Using an apple corer, core the apples and then peel. Place an apple on each square of dough. Stuff the hollow center with 2 heaping Tbs. of the streusel. Brush the edges of each square with the egg mixture. Bring 2 opposite corners of the dough up over the apple and press together. Fold in the sides of the other 2 corners, bring the corners up over the apple and press together. Repeat with the remaining apples, dough squares and streusel. Place the dumplings in a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) baking dish so they are not touching; refrigerate while you make the sauce.
6. In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar, salt, and 1 1/4 cups (10 fl. oz./310 ml) water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring well. Pour the sauce over the dumplings.
7. Bake, spooning the sauce over the dumplings twice during baking, until the crust is golden brown and the apples are tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Let the apples cool slightly, then serve warm with the sauce and a dollop of crème fraîche. Makes 6 dumplings.
Recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma Luscious Fruit Desserts