So one of the things that the producers of “State Plate” TV show want me to make is apple dumplings made from our very own state apple the Golden Delicious. A wonderful history fallows the apple. It comes from one of the most rural counties in our state, Clay County, West Virginia. The county is a twisty, curvy, mountainous place to call home but that is where the very first Golden Delicious apple tree was found. The apple tree was growing wild on a hillside on the Mullins farm back the 1890’s. It was thought to be a naturally occurring hybrid but no one really knows. So after discovering the tree and it’s unusual fruit, a sample was sent of the Stark Brothers nursery for identification. It has been said that they were happily surprised by the new find and made plans to buy the tree and the land that surrounded it. the Stark Brothers company bought the tree in the early 1900’s and built a large fence around the tree. The Stark Brothers company worked several years with seed and graphs to develop the very best and marketable tree that they could and in 1914 the began sale of the Golden Delicious apple that we love today. A crisp, yellow, fine skinned apple that is lightly tart; when baked softens easily making wonderful apple sauce or dumplings that are soft enough to cut with a fork.
So as I continue to prepare for our up coming filming I have made a couple of batches of apple dumplings for testing and tasting. I wanted to be sure that I still knew how to make them. I made them from small hard Wine Sap apples on the farm when the whole family lived close together back in the 90’s. My brother-in-law still talks about them even today. So here is a photo of the first test batch.
My family personally does not care for the sweet sugar glaze that most people eat with a dumpling. We would rather eat them with ice cream and salted caramel syrup topping. So that is how I am making them for the show. I am hoping to make one more batch this weekend just to be sure I will not have a panic attack while they film. So in case you want the recipe I will share it here with some photos. If you get a chance to see me making them on the Inspiration Channels “State Plate” you can see how they are made with the help of Taylor Hicks.
So the simple recipe that I am going to use is this one.
Apple Dumplings West Virginia Style
For the crust for 6 dumplings
2 1/4 cups all purposed flour
2/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup plus a couple of tablespoons milk if needed
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg with water for egg wash on crust
For the dumpling
6 snack size golden delicious apples, peeled cored and left with whole down center
1 stick room temperature salted butter
6 to 7 heaping tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
One Jar Smucker’s salted Caramel topping.
Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes until dumplings are golden brown and juice has escaped the into the bottom of the pan.
Mix together dry ingredients for pie crust adding in shorting and cutting together. Until dry crumbles form and they look like cheese curds. Slowly add milk and cut in more as needed to make a dough ball. Food processors do a wonderful job here. Remove from processor and form a large flat ball and place in container in refrigerator while prepping apples.
Peel apples and remove core with a melon baller tool,without breaking the apple.The apple should be hallow inside. Set aside while making the stuffing for apples. Mix brown sugar with butter until creamy but firm enough to hold together. If you can model it with your fingers like play dough you have enough brown sugar. Mix in the 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon cloves. Set aside
Remove cool crust from refrigerator roll out on a floured surface in large oval about 1/4 thick. With a kitchen bowl around 5 inches in diameter, mark and cut crust in smaller circles. Re-roll until thin and about 7 inches in diameter. Score crust in 4 evenly placed locations to allow crust to fold neatly.
mix up 1 egg and 3 tablespoons water and brush edge of circle of crust.
Place apple in center of crust and spoon in sugar mixture pushing to bottom as you go. Wet edge of crust with egg wash, wrap apple in sections over lapping where the edges need to be pinched to hold together. Bring all edges together at top of apple and pinch together using more egg wash to hold everything. Cover dumpling with egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon repeat with other 5 apples.
Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes in a deep dish pan. Dumplings will leak and have sticky syrup in pan be careful it is very hot.Serve with a caramel topping and/or vanilla ice cream.