Wednesday, August 5, 2009
All American Apple...Dumpling
I've been in and out a lot lately, but haven't been an active blogger, have I? I have good excuses: for one, I haven't been baking much. I've been setting personal records for cooking dinner multiple nights a week, though. Between the CSA and Carolyn's dad's garden, I've had plenty of fresh veggies to play with every week. Since I hate letting things go to waste, I've been cooking more often than not, instead of going out to dinner. Another good excuse, for July at least, is that I was on vacation for ten days, and packing for vacation takes a lot of effort.
In any case, I'm back. This was my third night making dinner this week (out of three nights!), and I had been thinking about making a dessert for us in addition to my diligent dinner duties. When we picked up today's CSA box, it included a variety of firm, sweet yellow apples I was informed were good for baking. Apple dumplings are a summer favorite, reminding me of the days of riverfront festivals in Cuyahoga Falls, wandering by the river during late weekend hours with my best friends. Irish Fest? Italian Fest? Rockin' at the River? Have an apple dumpling.
My apple dumping recipe is a very loose adaptation from the old standby:
I make my own pie crust, core and peel the apples, and stuff them with a mixture of white and brown sugar, cinnamon and top with a pat of batter before wrapping them in the pie crust.
For the sauce, I boil a combination of about a cup of water, 1/2 cup sugar, a blob of honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove. I reduce it to a syrup, pour it over the crust-covered apples, and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. I topped tonight's with hearts instead of stars, but I didn't get around to pictures. These are actually from last year:
Although most people insist one needs to measure precisely for baking, that's not really my method. Some things, like pie crust, I know by look and feel, more than using measuring cups. When it comes to the syrup in this recipe, I just keep tasting and adjusting until it seems right, and I'd encourage you to do the same!