Apple Dumplings with Cinnamon Sauce

Apple dumplings with Cinnamon Sauce -- A Pinch of Joy
Apple dumplings with Cinnamon Sauce -- A Pinch of Joy
Apple Dumplings are one of my very favorite desserts.  Absolutely adore them!!!  And who wouldn’t?  Great apple taste and texture wrapped in flaky crust and baked in a cinnamon butter sauce.  Serve warm.  Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to take the dessert to celestial levels.  Let cool and serve with an extra spoonful of syrup from the pan for cinnamon zing.  Refrigerate and have for breakfast.  Except there won’t be any left overnight unless you hide it in a Velveeta box — cooled and wrapped well. :-)   Not that I would ever use that trick. 

Apple dumplings are not a quick fix.  But they are SO worth the bit of time and effort!!!  Especially for a special treat for a holiday.  Or a special someone.  Or a family in need of a WOW!   They are, however,  straightforward and easy to make.

Step 1 Start with your favorite pie crust — home made or purchased.  If you buy piecrust, there is always the problem of getting from two circles of dough to one long rectangle.  Problem solved this way:  Lay the two circles side by side on your rolling surface with about an inch of overlap in the middle.  Cut an inch off the top of each circle and place in the “indentations” as shown.  Repeat for the bottom.  Press the patches and middle seam together. 

Step 2Roll out 2
Roll the pie crust into a long rectangle.   The finished rectangle will be about ten inches by twenty four inches.  See the original recipe card in the photo?  Those brown cinnamon  stains certify this is a gooooood recipe.

Step 3 Measure
Get out your ruler.  Leave blue tape on it so you can spot it on the dark counter in the photo — optional :- I’m usually not this picky but this is actually the “lazy” way to make sure the dumplings are all adequately covered with crust.   Cut the rectangle in half, which gives you two strips of pie crust about 4.5 inches wide.   Cut each strip into five even pieces about 4.5 inches long.  Measurements do not have to be precise but you will need about 4.5 inches square to cover the apple. (A table knife from my dinnerware has a blade exactly 4.5 inches long and they are easier to find than a ruler in a houseful of project people.  Might work for you, too. )

Step 4 Peeled apples
I like sweet so I always choose something like Gala, Honeycrisp, even Red Delicious apples over Granny Smith or other tart apples.  Some people like the contrast of the tart apple with the sweet syrup.  Feel free to use my share of tart!   Coz I’m not gonna use it!  This also shows my hybrid method of peeling.  A lot of the nutrients are in the peel and I hate to throw them away.  But trying to cut through a dumpling with a lot of peel inside is a little messier than this dessert deserves.  Even desserts need to be able to reach their full potential.  Especially desserts, come to think of it.  So I take off about half the peel.   Compromise is an art.

Step 5 Halved and Cored Cut each of five apples in half and remove the core.

Step 6 Half apples
Yeah, I know I told you to cut the dough earlier.  I took this picture while I was sizing everything up.  You can wait till you have the apples ready before you cut the dough, if you want.  Not trying to be bossy here! Place apples round side down on the crust.  Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and spoon about half a teaspoon of cinnamon sugar into the cavity of each apple half.  Top with a pat of butter and a dash of nutmeg. 

Step 7 Fold Pastry Fold the corners of the square to the center of each apple half.  For a medium apple halved, the 4.5 inch square should meet in the middle.  You will have a pretty classic apple dumpling!   But we all know that pretty happens only about 50% of the time in life.  You’ve never had a bad hair day?  Your dumplings will all be perfect, I’m sure!  When apple dumplings have a bad hair day — say the crust won’t quite meet because the apple is bigger or the crust tears  or some other unpretty thing — there is a solution.  Turn that bad boy over so the smooth crust covered curve is on top and press all the problems to the underneath.   I told you this was my favorite dessert! 

Step 8 Pour syrup
Be sure to boil the cinnamon sauce for three minutes before pouring over and around the dumplings.  I like to add red food coloring for visual appeal, but it is certainly optional.  Yield is ten servings.  Great for a group.  But if you need a smaller amount,  you can freeze what is not needed for immediate use.   Just don’t wait too long before popping the packages into the freezer.  The contents will disappear.

Step 9

Bake until lightly golden and syrup has thickened somewhat. Cool a bit so the tender dumplings don’t fall apart as you take them from the pan.  

Step 10 Put a fork in it
Put a fork in it.  The world falls away while you are in the midst of the Aurora Borealis and harp music.

Step 11 mmmmm
The proper ending for an apple dumpling. . . .


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Apple Dumplings with Cinnamon Sauce

Yield: 10

Serving Size: 1 dumpling

Apple Dumplings with Cinnamon Sauce

Apple wrapped in flaky crust and baked to perfection in cinnamon sauce!

Ingredients

  • Pastry for 2 crust 9” pie
  • 5 apples
  • 1-2 Tablespoons butter for pat on each apple half
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, approximate, divided into dash for each butter pat
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons butter for sauce

Instructions

  1. Roll out pastry into rectangle and cut into 4.5 inch squares.
  2. Place peeled and cored apple half on each square, cavity up.
  3. Mix cinnamon and sugar and put ½ teaspoon of mixture into each apple cavity.
  4. Add water to remaining cinnamon and sugar, add 3 tablespoons butter and bring to boil. Reduce to medium heat and boil for three minutes. Remove from heat promptly.
  5. In the meantime, add a pat of butter to each apple cavity.
  6. Sprinkle each half apple with a dash of nutmeg – about 1/8 teaspoon each.
  7. Bring pastry points to middle of apple, pressing to seal.
  8. Place in 9x13 baking pan.
  9. Pour hot cinnamon sauce over and around apple dumplings.
  10. Bake at 425 for 40-45 minutes until lightly golden and syrup has thickened somewhat.
  11. Cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm.
http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2013/11/apple-dumplings-with-cinnamon-sauce/

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I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing! 

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Apple and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Apple and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash from A Pinch of Joy
Apple and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash from A Pinch of Joy

Wheels loves acorn squash but I only knew one way of preparing it. Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and bake about an hour until tender,  with or without butter in the middle.  It was hard to cut before cooking – a feat of strength and sharp knife and messy to scoop out the seeds.  But, with enough butter,  acorn squash was a nice addition to a meal a couple of times in the fall. Finally I got brave and kicked it up a notch with this really good recipe for apple sausage stuffed acorn squash.   And then I found a tip that rocked my acorn squash fixin’ world.  .  . 

Piercing an acorn squash

Wash the squash (shades of Dr. Suess!).  Find a sharp fork, preferably a two or three pronged cooking fork.   Pierce the squash all the way around along the line you will use to cut the squash in half.  Place the pierced squash in the microwave and cook for two minutes on high.  Remove and let cool slightly.  Then cut along the piercing.  The softened squash will be tender enough that it cuts  easily.  The sorta cooked innards will scoop out cleanly.   A breeze compared to cutting and cleaning a raw squash!!! 

The original stuffed recipe called for baking the squash for an hour before adding the stuffing.  But once I found how tender the microwaved squash became with only two minutes in the microwave, I couldn’t stop there.  I added a thin pat of butter, a couple of shakes of salt and a half teaspoon or so of brown sugar to the cleaned halves, returned them to the microwave for three minutes.  They became fork tender.  I could push a dinner fork into the squash with only slight resistance in other words.  Just like they are after baking for an hour.  Woo hoo!  Just saved an hour of cooking! 

The filling goes together quickly while you are microwaving the squash.  I just chop and mix the apple and veggie ingredients together while the sausage browns.  The flavor will depend on the flavor of sausage you use.  I don’t peel the apples – although you can if you prefer – and like to use one red and one yellow apple.  This time I used Gala and Ginger Gold.   Drain the sausage when done and add to the chopped ingredients while hot.  Add the bread crumbs, and adjust the seasoning to your liking, if needed.  Add the beaten egg and mix well. 

I have to tell you – we only eat two squash (four halves) at a meal.  That uses one half the stuffing.  You can go ahead and stuff, then bake the other stuffed squash to refrigerate and warm for eating later if you like.  I have not tried freezing the stuffed squash but I have frozen the other half of the filling to thaw and use later with no problems.  Wheels says I can also just bake the stuffing in a pan for them to eat on the side – but I haven’t done that either. J  If you try that, check several times during the last ten minutes so you can remove when done and before overdone!   Buying larger/smaller squash also makes a difference in the number of servings. 

By now the first set of squash have been through the microwave.  I do two or three halves at a time to speed things up a bit.  You can begin stuffing the squash, mounding it up in the middle somewhat.  Place in baking pan, add an inch of water in the bottom and bake at 400 for 25 minutes until the filling is set and somewhat brown on top.  You can add shredded Swiss cheese and parsley to dress things up a bit if you like. 

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Apple and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Yield: 8 halves of 4 small squash, 6 halves of 3 large squash

Serving Size: One half squash

Apple and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Acorn squash stuffed with a combination of sausage, apples and mushrooms for a great fall dish.

Ingredients

  • 4 acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 pound pork sausage
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 apples, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg beaten
  • ½ cup shredded Swiss Cheese, optional
  • Parsley for garnish, optional

Instructions

  1. 1. Pierce squash along cutting line and microwave two minutes.
  2. 2. Cut in half and remove seeds. Add small amount of butter and brown sugar to each squash half and microwave again for three minutes.
  3. 3. Meanwhile brown sausage until cooked. Drain.
  4. 4. Prepare vegetables and apples.
  5. 5. Combine sausage, vegetable, apples and breadcrumbs in large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste depending on sausage seasoning.
  6. 6. Stir in egg.
  7. 7. Fill squash halves with stuffing until mounded and place in baking dish. Add an inch of water to bottom of baking dish (around the squash and not on them!).
  8. 8. Bake in 400 degree oven for 25 minutes or until squash is tender and stuffing is set.
  9. 9. Garnish, if desired, with parsley and shredded swiss cheese.
http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2013/10/apple-and-sausage-stuffed-acorn-squash/

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing! 

Subscribe by email  on the sidebar  or follow on Facebook, RSS feed, bloglovin’  twitter  and check out my  pinterest boards.   If you found this helpful or inspiring please share below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is  appreciated!



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