Coming Home: A Seasonal Guide to Creating Family Tradition by Rosanne Bowles ($27.50, Harry N. Abrams, 2010)
For the Apples
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 8 Gala apples, peeled and cored
For the Dough
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 Tbsp vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup ice water
- 8 pats unsalted butter
- Cinnamon-sugar, to taste
Make the Apples
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Fill the centers of the apples with the mixture. Set aside.
Make the Dough
- Put the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine.
- Add the cubed butter and pulse until just incorporated.
- Slowly add the ice water through the feed tube and pulse until a ball forms. Do not overwork the dough.
- Flatten two disks of dough and wrap in plastic for about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C) (Gas mark 5).
- On a pastry cloth, using a floured rolling pin covered with a pastry stocking, roll the dough out into a rough square 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick.
- Cut into 8 squares and set a filled apple in the center of each square. Bring the corners of the dough up to cover the entire apple and pinch the top to seal. Repeat with the remaining apples and dough.
- Place the dumplings on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake the Dumplings
- Dot the tops of the dumplings with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.
- Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, until the apple is tender when pierced carefully with a fork.
- Let cool a bit, then serve warm or at room temperature in individual serving bowls.
These dumplings are wonderful dolloped with something creamy—good-quality vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or Greek yogurt sweetened to taste with a bit of honey.