The Apple Dumpling Gang Returns

The Apple Dumpling Gang...Returns

It is just about this time every year.  As schools get back in session, crisp breezes dislodge the first of the fall leaves from their summer perches, and the apple harvesting begins, our family almost instantly transforms into the Apple Dumpling Gang!


Of course, I'm not referring to the infamous orphans led by Tim Conway and Don Knotts in the mid-70's Walt Disney movie...

...rather the gang of kids and adults alike who suddenly become almost zombie-like in their insatiable hunger for fresh Apple Dumplings.

Whether warmed up for a sweet breakfast treat on a cool autumn morning or as a perfect dessert, there is no wrong time to dive into an apple dumpling.

Thankfully, we are in an area with abundant apple orchards.  You cannot take a short ride this time of year without smelling the fragrance of tree-ripened apples ready to be picked and made into our fall favorite.

Even more important than our proximity to these abundant fields of aromatic apples is our proximaty to a culture that has absolutely mastered the art of apple dumplings...the Pennsylvania Dutch.  You may ask "why the PA Dutch?"

First, where does the word "dumpling" originate?  The German word for steam is Dampf and there is a German dumpling dish called Dampfnudel.  One can easily surmise how "dumpling" evolved from "Damfnudel".

Also, the beauty of dumplings are the innumerable variations from not only country to country and town from town, but also from kitchen to kitchen.  There is no so called go-to recipe in the Pennsylvania Dutch community.  More so, recipes act as a starting point - getting a "gang" on the right track.  A base upon which to experiment and build their own "family favorite" recipe to pass on from generation to generation.

So, without further adieu, would like to get your gang started with an Apple Dumpling Recipe adapted from the "Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book of Fine Old Recipes

Of course, in keeping with tradition, we hope and expect you and your gang to experiment, tweak and make it your own go-to Apple Dumpling Recipe!

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 6 tablespoons of shortening
  • 1/2 cup of cold milk
  • 6 apples (pared & cored)
  • Cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar (anything you'd like to fill with)
Pare and core apples.  Sift flour, baking powder and salt.  Cut in shortening, add milk and mix into a smooth dough.  Turn onto a floured board and then divide into six portions.  Roll each portion to a size large enough to cover one apple.  Place an apple on each piece of dough.  Fill with cinnamon and sugar.  Wet edges of dough and fold over apple.  Place on a greased baking sheet, bake for about 40 minutes (until apples are tender) at 350ºf.  Enjoy!

So, there is your "base" dumpling.  Now, how is your "gang" going to make it your own?  A sweet glaze?  Some whipped cream or ice cream?  Raisins and/or walnuts?  Caramel drizzle?  The possibilities are endless and the fun trying new adaptations never gets old!


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