I only make them once a year–any more frequently and they would be a serious health hazard. Eating an entire apple dumpling must be one of the seven deadly sins–each one is about a week’s worth of dessert.
Yesterday was the annual dumpling-fest. I loosely use the apple dumpling recipe from the 1997 edition of Joy of Cooking. The recipe involves what you would expect–peel and core your apples, stuff them with a butter/sugar/spice mixture, and wrap them in pastry dough–but the coup de grace of this recipe is the basting syrup.
Yes, these apple bombs are basted as they bake, giving them a crusty glaze on top. The syrup is a mix of sugar, water, butter, and spices, as you might expect. But boiled along with these is a whole lemon, sliced thinly.
The lemon lends a wonderful tang to a dish that could easily end up too sweet.
Add a generous dollop of whipped cream, drizzle the extra basting syrup on top, and you have the best apple dumpling ever.