Southern Living dessert recipes

October 11, 2009 Peggy's Classic Apple Dumplings

makes 6 servings hands-on time: 30 min.
Total time: 1 hr., 15 min.

11/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg, divided
2 T bsp. butter
2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup shortening
6 small Rome apples (about 13/4 lb.)
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, cut into 6 equal pieces
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine 11/2 cups sugar, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg in a saucepan. Stir in 11/2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 2 Tbsp. butter. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until crumbly. Cover and chill. Meanwhile, peel and core apples. Stir milk into flour mixture until moistened. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 3 to 4 times. Roll into an 18- x 12- inch rectangle. Cut into 6 (6-inch) squares. Place 1 apple in center of each square.

Combine 1/3 cup sugar and remaining 1/4 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg; sprinkle over apples. Press 1 piece of butter into each apple center. Moisten edges of dough with water; fold dough over apples, pinching edges to seal. Place dumplings in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Pour sugar syrup over dumplings. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with pecans.

Anne's Quick Apple Dumpling Bundles

makes 4 servings hands-on time: 20 min.
Total time: 40 min.

Test Kitchen Secret: Toasting pecans deepens their natural buttery sweetness. Keep them on-hand by refrigerating shelled pecans (toasted or untoasted) in an airtight container for up to three months or freeze up to six months.

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 (15-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts
1 (12-oz.) package frozen spiced apples, thawed
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 (12-oz.) jar caramel topping, warmed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 6 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. Remove from oven; increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Unroll piecrust on a lightly floured surface. Cut piecrust into fourths. Divide apples among each fourth, placing in center. Pull corners together over apples, pinching edges to seal. Place on a lightly greased aluminum foil-lined baking sheet; brush with egg white, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 22 minutes or until golden. Serve apple bundles with caramel topping. Sprinkle with pecans.

Note: We tested with Stouffer's Harvest Apples and Smucker's Caramel Flavored One is from scratch, capturing apples at their peak. The other is easy enough for your busiest day.

Recipes from Peggy Baker and Anne Livingston. Birmingham, Alabama.

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