Whole Apple Dumplings

by elyn_ryn

Have you made apple dumplings using the whole apple? It is a fun way to make a pretty dessert! Let’s go over some of the basics for making this dessert.

First, pick out fresh apples and refrigerate them. I usually use Granny Smith apples or Gala apples but have used other varieties too.

For this dessert, I peel the apples first so they can be rolled in a sugar-cinnamon mixture. Cut out the core too…

…but leave a little of the core intact so it can act as a cup to hold some more of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Use a small spoon to help dig out the core. I use a corer spoon with a claw to quickly remove the core.

Roll the freshly-peeled apple in a mixture of sugar, flour, and cinnamon. And then pack the same mixture into the core cup. Finish by adding softened butter.

I use an 8-inch prepared and refrigerated pie crust to make these dumplings but you can use your favorite crust instead. I cut the crust in half, ball it up, and then roll it with a rolling pin to make a circle of dough that will fold over the apple. Cut off any extra dough from the top. You will re-roll this leftover dough to cut out leaves.

Pat the apple to help smooth the dough around the apple. Check the bottom of the apple to make sure the dough didn’t crack during the smoothing process. Seal any cracks.

Cut out the apple leaves with a small cookie cutter or cut them out by hand with a knife. Make a stem out of dough and place on the apple or use the apple’s own stem and insert it after baking. The apple dumplings are almost ready to bake at this point. The last thing to do is to baste the apples in heavy cream with a small basting brush. But here is where you can have some fun by coloring the dough.

You can color the cream with food coloring or with all-natural colored food powders. I list sources for colored food powders in the recipe notes.

However, the key to coloring the dough is to use heavy cream to baste the dough rather than milk. The cream being thicker holds the color better and will let you achieve darker colors.

If you are coloring the dumplings, color the apple first, working around the leaves. Then color the leaves with a darker wash of cream. It is a little harder to color the apple with the leaves in place, but if you color the apple with cream and then attach the leaves, they can slide off during baking.

Do not overbake the apple dumplings or the apples can overcook and lose their shape and cause the dough shell to collapse and break apart.

Serve these dumplings with brown sugar syrup (recipe below), sea salted caramel, or ice cream.

Print Recipe
Whole Apple Dumplings
Whole apples made into apple-shaped dumplings
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 35-40 minutes
Passive Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Brown Sugar Syrup (optional)
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 35-40 minutes
Passive Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Brown Sugar Syrup (optional)
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Apple Dumplings
  1. In a wide, shallow bowl, add the sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Stir to blend and then set aside.
  2. Twist and remove the apple stems to use after the apple dumplings are cooked.
  3. Working with one apple at a time, peel and then remove 3/4 of the core from the top of the apple. Leave the bottom 1/4 of the core intact.
  4. Roll the apple in the sugar mixture to coat it.
  5. Place and compact 1-2 tablespoons of the sugar mixture in the scooped-out apple-core hole. Add 2 or 3 drops of vanilla flavoring. Place 1/2 tablespoon of butter in the hole. The butter should not extend past the top of the hole.
  6. Cut an 8-inch pie crust into 2 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Using a rolling pin, roll a dough ball into a circle big enough to cover an apple. It does not have to be perfect.
  7. Place the prepared apple on the dough and pull it up and around the apple. Cut off any excess dough at the top of the apple. Pat the dough to smooth it. Make sure all splits and tears are sealed. Check the bottom of the apple for splits too.
  8. Use the leftover dough to make the leaves. Reroll it and use a small cookie cutter or cut leaves by hand. Use a toothpick to indent a long vein down the middle of each leaf and then make small veins beside the long center vein. Cut leaves in large and small sizes. You can also shape dough stems by hand if you can't use the apple stems.
  9. Add the leaves to the apple and press firmly to attach.
  10. Place the dough-covered apple on parchment paper in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
  11. Place 1/3 cup of cream in a small bowl. (Add more later if you run out before you finish all the apples.) Add a few drops of green food coloring and 1 drop of yellow food coloring to make green apples. Mix. Use a basting brush to paint the body of the apple. Paint it in place so as not to stretch or break the dough.
  12. Then add a few extra drops of green food coloring to the green cream until it is dark green. Paint the leaves this color so that they contrast with the apple body.
  13. Repeat the process for all the rest of the apples.
  14. Place the decorated apples in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  15. Preheat the oven and bake at 350° F for 35-40 minutes. If the apples start to over-brown, place a sheet of aluminum foil loosely over the top of the dumplings.
  16. After baking, insert the saved apple stems into the apple dumplings for a realistic effect.
  17. Serve with caramel sauce or vanilla ice cream.
Brown Sugar Syrup (optional)
  1. In a medium saucepan, add the brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and flour and stir to combine.
  2. Add the water and butter and heat on medium until the syrup reaches a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for a minute or two until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla. Stir. Spoon over individual apple dumplings.
Recipe Notes

If you want to leave the apples a natural crust color, you will not need any of the food colorings.  However, you will still need to baste the apples with the cream before baking.

Do not paint the apple body and then add then leaves on top of the cream or the leaves will slide off during baking.

Chilling the dumplings before baking helps prevent cracks in the crust; however, they can still crack.  Cover with extra baked leaves to hide but do not worry because they don’t have to be perfect.

If you want to make red apples, use several drops of red coloring to make a rich red color because as the red cooks, it will fade to pink.

This recipe is best if eaten right away so the dough doesn't sag or lose its shape.

If you had rather use all-natural food coloring, here are two sources.  Click on them to go to the websites.

  1. Suncore Foods
  2. Ultimate Baker

Click here for a link to a corer spoon. 

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