Apple Dumplings

by Shawnda on November 13, 2011

in Apples,Fruit,Holiday Favorites,Pastry

Apple Dumplings

I’ve done us all a favor and deleted the previous 4 paragraphs. I went all tangenty about the first company I worked for and might have mentioned how they knew exactly how many times you went to the bathroom each day because you had to use a keypad to get from the cube farm to the bathroom areas. Believe it or not, that actually started as a post about apple dumplings. And so it shall be.

The cafeteria at that company served the best apple dumplings. And if you weren’t standing in line before 11:30, you were out of luck. They were softball-sized apples with the empty core stuffed with sugar, cinnamon, butter, and walnuts. Those magical ingredients were wrapped up in a flakey pie crust and just like that, you’ve got dessert for two days. Or two people.

Apple dumplings are super, super easy to make at home with a handful of ingredients. And since I’m a huge fan of crust, I think the heavy crust:apple ratio is perfect. I actually made apple dumplings for dessert the first night I cooked dinner for The Foodie Groom. Yep, I made homemade apple dumplings for a man that didn’t like apples. Wah wah waaah.

Luckily, his view of apples have changed quite a bit. I put apple dumplings on our Thanksgiving menu after seeing a similar recipe in the latest Williams-Sonoma mailer. You know, to make sure we have a baked apple dessert at both dinners :)

I typically use whole, medium-sized apples and fill the empty core with a butter-white sugar-cinnamon-chopped pecans/walnut mixture. But we decided that we liked what the brown sugar does for the filling and the half-apple makes the serving size a little more portion-friendly. The apple dumplings come together really quickly, especially if you take the short-cut that I did and pick up a premade pie crust. (Although making the dough from scratch will only take a few extra minutes and I think it’s easier to wrap using a homemade crust.)

Apple Dumplings

Tart Granny Smith apples are baked with a cinnamon and sugar mixture inside a flaky pastry crust.


  • Pie crust dough, enough for 2 standard pies (I used store-bought)
  • 2 large Granny Smith Apples
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 egg


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray an 8- or 9-inch dish with baking spray.
  2. Prepare your favorite pie crust recipe as directed. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll to a square 1/8-th inch thick.
  3. If using purchased crusts, unroll the crusts on a lightly floured surface, and lightly roll the crust with a rolling pin, 1-2 times in each direction to make them just a bit larger. Cut them in half.
  4. Peel and the core the apples and then cut them in half horizontally.
  5. Stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl.
  6. Rub the cinnamon-sugar mixture on the apples. Mix remaining sugar mixture with the softened butter.
  7. Place an apple in the center of a piece of pie dough. Spoon 1/4 of the butter-sugar mixture into the apple core.
  8. Pull the dough up around the apples gently and lightly pinch the top together into a beggar's purse. The store-bought crusts will be longer than wide - I cut off a couple inches of dough from the "long side" and just pinched it together on the "short side" to make it a more equal shape.
  9. Tie a piece of kitchen twine around the dough (or just crimp it really well) and transfer the dumpling to the prepared pan.
  10. Repeat with the remaining apples and dough.
  11. Whisk egg with 1 Tbsp of water and brush over the apple dumplings.
  12. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.


Yields: 4 servings

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma

Estimated time: 45 minutes

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