Almost Apple Dumplings

Almost Apple Dumplings


I have a new favorite apple dessert. It took a lot to top my apple pies and crisps but I’ve actually managed to do it. This past weekend, in an effort to kill some time (parents, you know what I’m talking about) we decided to drive out to the farm to buy some fruit. Yes I know buying it at the farmer’s market would have been a more environmentally correct choice but doing that wouldn’t have killed two hours, now would it? Anyway cost wise it was net neutral given how expensive everything is at the farmer’s market. We bought peaches, pears, plums and apples. Of course right off I made my beloved plum cake. Oh how I love this cake. It might be my favorite dessert ever. My children gobbled the rest of the plums fresh. The apples went, one per day into my daughter’s lunch bag where she proceeded to eat two slices and then leave the rest. I think she got through two apples that week.

So there I was with a small basket of apples (8 total) staring at me, begging me to turn them into dessert. Visions of pie danced in my head but that seemed so same-y. Then I decided just what I wanted- apple dumplings! I LOVE apple dumplings but I never have them/make them because they always seem like more work than apple pie and most places don’t serve them as a dessert so I don’t eat them out. I set to work googling for a good recipe. And I found several and started to read. Then, I staggered back. Three sticks of butter people, three. Now I understand that dessert is rich food. It’s not nor do I intend it to be, health food, but three sticks! There are limits and a cup and a half of butter in one dessert is one of mine. It just is. But I still wanted those lovely apple dumplings with their tasty crust and caramel sauce. Quandary. I opted to use less of everything that contained the butter and these came out fabulously! The lattice on top gives you that crunch and taste of pie crust without using two sticks of butter. The caramel sauce I made/used is much thinner than what it should have been so it travels the same distance while making half as much. (And is still amazing paired with ice cream and spooned all around). All and all I got this recipe to a little over a stick of butter with the same amazing taste elements. The only noticeable difference is that the apples were firm cooked, because they weren’t bathed in sauce, rather than mushy. But that actually worked out really well too because they retained at their core just a hint of tart cooking apple which balanced the sweet of the sauce and the ice cream nicely. Success!

Make 8(ish) or one 8×8 pan worth

Reheats: Yes

Freezes: No

Kid friendly task: Stuffing the apples and eating the peels

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/3 c heavy cream
  •  ¼ butter
  •  ½ tsp vanilla
  •  Pinch salt
  •  2/3 c brown sugar

Apples Ingredients

  • 6-8 slightly tart apples cored and peeled
  • ¼ chopped walnuts
  • ½ sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ allspice
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Pinch salt

Crust Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp butter
  • ½ c flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 2-3 tbsp water


  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Cut butter into flour until coarse crumbs are formed. Add water slowly and kneed with your fingers until a smooth dough just comes together. Chill at least an hour.
  2.  Place apples side by side in your baking dish. Mix all remaining ingredients except the butter in a small bowl and distribute equally into the center of each apple. Don’t worry if some of it falls out the bottom. It will not fill the center of the apples to the top unless you’re using some very small apples. Cut the butter into 8 mini squares and drop one at the top of each apple center on top of the sugar mix.
  3.  Roll your crust out just as you would for a regular pie crust only perhaps slightly more thinly. Using a pizza cutter slice the dough into long ¼ in strips and then slice those strips roughly into half (so the strip is about 4-5 in long and ¼ wide). Then make a lattice pattern on top of each apple. You should get roughly 5 strips per apple and just basket weave them to make them look pretty.
  4. Mix all sauce ingredients, except cream, in a small sauce pan and heat on medium low heat for about 5 minutes.  The butter should melt completely and it will start to boil. Turn off heat and add cream.
  5. Pour the sauce over and around the apples. Bake about 1 hour. Eat them warm with vanilla ice cream and lots of sauce from the bottom of the pan. Enjoy!


Almost Apple Dumplings

Almost Apple Dumplings


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