I think that I have said before that autumn is my favorite season. I have this theory that you always prefer the time of year that you were born in. Maybe it is because we look forward to that time so much when we are little because we get to celebrate our birthdays and we get used to anticipating it all year long. Anyway, whatever the case, autumn wins out. as the weather turns colder, we find ourselves craving heartier things like soups, stews, and APPLE DUMPLINGS!!! That's right, peeled, cored and stuffed apples wrapped in buttery dough and then baked, and then getting a warm bath in a caramely, brandytastic sauce. Could it get better? only if you ate them on a plate made out of 100 dollar bills with a fork made of diamonds! Wifeshow and I made these (mostly her, except I rolled out the dough (we cheated and bought puff pastry from ideal:)). here's your do: (adapted from martha stewart)
use your favorite pastry dough recipe (or buy puff pastry dough if you spent the whole day helping friends move and then went on a laborious trek to outfit your kitchen with new cupboards and suffered a huge attack of sticker shock, launching you into a post-lowe's coma).
1/4 packed brown sugar
2 cups apple juice (we used some cider from arbor day farms)
1/2 c brandy
2 tbs honey
1/4 c pure maple syrup
1.5 t freshly grated ginger
2 tbs butter
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs brandy
2 tbs dried cherries
2 tbs all purp flour
2 tbs almonds
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs butter
1/8 t ground nutmeg
1/8 t cinnamon
4 apples, I used some jonathans, peeled and cored
4 cinnamon sticks
1 lemon, cut into quarters
egg white lightly beaten
egg yolk, beaten with tbs heavy cream.
combine all the syrup ingredients in a medium saucepan, and cook over med-high (stirring occasionally) until reduced by half (20 minuntes-ish), remove from heat, set aside.
combine all the filling ingredients in a food processor, pulverize. peel and core apples, and rub them with the lemon quarters so they don't turn brown.
heat oven to 450. roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness into 6 inch squares (might need to be bigger for bigger apples). brush entire surface of dough with egg white and then set apple in middle. Fill apple with filling and then insert cinnamon stick, wrapping the dough around and then overlapping it slighty (dipping finger in egg white and pressing overlapping corners into each other), should look like a rustic tart. brush with egg/cream mixture and repeat with the other apples. transfer apples to roasting pan lined with parch or silpat. bake for 15 minutes, then reduce to 375. remove pan from oven and baste with the syrup mixture. return pan to oven and bake 10 minutes more, basting every 5 minutes (twice), continue baking dumplings until golden brown, about ten more minutes (total time 45 minutes). transfer pan to wire rack to cool slightly. heat up syrup mixture and serve with the apples. We put ours in syrup filled bowls (with more syrup over the top, naturally:).
ps, if you have scrap dough (which you will) and you want to be a fancy pants, then take a pairing knife and cut little leaves out of the dough and stick them on, using egg white for glue. then, take your knife and make little "veins" in the leaves. cute points abound. ENJOY!