One of America’s Favorites – Apple Dumpling

January 20, 2020 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | 1 Comment
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An apple dumpling is a baked pastry-wrapped apple. To prepare apple dumplings, apples are peeled, cored and sometimes quartered and placed on a portion of dough. The hole from the core may be filled with cinnamon, butter and sugar and sometimes dried fruit such as raisins, sultanas, or currants. The dough is folded over the apples and sealed. Sometimes a spiced sauce is poured over the dumplings which are then baked until tender; the sugar and butter create a sweet sauce. Apple dumplings can be served hot, cold, or room temperature for breakfast, dessert, or as a main dish.

An apple dumpling served with vanilla ice cream

Boiled apple dumplings are among the earliest of fruit puddings. They were eaten “at all social levels”. In 1726 Nicholas Amhurst complained about apple dumplings at Oxford, saying “nothing can be expected from only rot-gut small beer, and heavy apple-dumplings, but stupidity, sleepiness, and indolence. “Two recipes for apple dumplings were published in Hannah Glasse’s 1747 cookbook. In 1749–1750, when botanist Pehr Kalm traveled from New Jersey to Quebec, he reported having apple dumplings at every meal. In 1754 English agriculturalist William Ellis called them one of the most common foods among farmers, along with bacon and pickled pork.

Apple dumplings are typically made by wrapping a pastry crust around a peeled, cored, and sometimes quartered apple, sometimes stuffing the hollow from the core with butter, sugar, sometimes dried fruits such as raisins, sultanas, or currants, and spices, sealing the pastry, and pouring a spiced sauce over the top before baking or, in the case of older recipes, boiling. The earliest recipes refer to boiling, as few homes had ovens, while many later recipes call for baking. Sauces typically call for sugar or brown sugar and butter boiled with water, sometimes with sliced lemons or spices such as cinnamon added for flavor.

Apple dumplings are served for breakfast or other meals, as sides, or as dessert. They are served hot, warm or at room temperature, sometimes with milk, cream, whipped cream, custard, or ice cream. Each dumpling is an individual serving.

Apple dumplings are a common food in the northeastern United States, especially around Pennsylvania, where they are considered a “cultural staple”. Food historians trace this type of apple dumpling back to Glasse’s book. A common recipe among the Pennsylvania Dutch, it is often eaten as a breakfast item or dessert. It is sometimes served with cream, whipped cream, or ice cream.

In the US, September 17 is National Apple Dumpling Day. Annual apple dumpling festivals are held in the towns of Atwood, Illinois, Stuart, Virginia, and Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania.

 

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  1. Yum! Yum! Yum!


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