Wee Cook Wednesday: Apple Dumplings and Crock Pot Applesauce

apple dumplingIt’s getting to be that time of year again … apple season!   In honor of National Apple Dumpling Day (Thursday, September 17) I’d like to post my tried-and-true recipe for these tasty seasonal treats.

To make Heidi’s Apple Dumplings, you will need…

8 fresh-picked apples (peeled, cored, and cut in quarters)

3 C flour
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbls baking powder
1C plus 2Tbls shortening
3/4 C milk

2 C sugar
2 C water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 C butter
a dozen little cinnamon candies (optional)

First, make the dumplings. Cut together flour, salt, bp, shortening together to course crumbs; add milk to make dough. Roll thin like pie crust (handling as little as possible to keep it tender). Place hand-sized (fingers spread) circle of dough in one hand, cupped slightly. Put apple quarters on top, then draw up dough around apples, squeezing with both hands so that dough covers entire apple. Place each “doughed” apple in baking dish, making sure there is space (at least an inch) between each apple. Continue with remaining apples.

Next, bring to boil the sugar, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter. Stirring constantly, continue to boil, adding cinnamon candies (if used) in the last minute. Pour hot syrup over apples, making sure some of the juice gets on each one. Bake 375 for 35-40 minutes, until golden.

To make vanilla milk, take a pint of milk and add 2 tsp vanilla extract and 2 tsp sugar. Pour over warm dumplings. Yum!

Looking for something a little simpler? Try this recipe I found today at AnnArbor.com, by Teresa Shaw, for her “Slow Cooker Applesauce”!  You will need …

4-5 pounds apples (McIntosh, Winesap)
1/2 C water
2 Tbs cinnamon
1/2 C sugar (I would use brown)
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice.

Wash, core, peel, and chop the apples into large chunks. Dump apples and other ingredients in the slow cooker (crock pot) and set on low heat. Cook 8 hours or until apples are soft and cooked down. Allow to cool slightly, then use a potato masher or immersion blender (yeah, right, got one of those RIGHT HERE) until the applesauce is the desired consistency. Add a little water if it’s too thick.

Editor’s comment: I like mine sprinkled with Lorna Dune crumbles.

For a recipe even simpler than that, try Deacon Tom’s recipe for Crockpot Applesauce. Peel & core ~ 8 sweet apples (e.g. Fiji). Cut into small pcs/segments. Put in crockpot. Add ~ 1/2 cups of water & of sugar + 1 TBSP of cinnamon. Mix & heat low ~ 7 hours. Use a masher to mash the cooked applesauce to a consistency you like. Refrigerate after cooling. Easy and most everyone likes it a lot. Enjoy…. I’ll be awaiting whatever dessert you care to send me 🙂