Pennsylvania Dutch Apple Dumplings
What is an Amish apple dumpling? An apple dumpling is a baked apple with cinnamon enclosed in a flaky crust with delicious homemade caramel syrup. Eat your caramel apple dumplings warm, topped with vanilla ice cream, and savor every delicious bite. They are amazing!
We’re getting close to apple season again. And have I ever told you that I LOVE the fall season? I get so excited about crisp cool mornings when it’s time to pull out a sweater again. And the scents of fall in the air – apples, pumpkins, and spices! It’s heavenly! And fresh-baked Amish apple dumplings are another one of those fall recipes that taste simply divine.
A Traditional Amish Recipe
There are several specific baked goods that you will typically find whenever you visit an Amish bakery in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. And among all the yummy-looking pies, whoopie pies, and bread, you will usually spot some Dutch apple dumplings. Especially in the fall while apples are in season.
But Amish apple dumplings really are not hard to make, and they never taste better than hot out of the oven.
Busy Harvest Time for the Amish
Late summer and fall is a very busy time on an Amish farm. The farmer has many crops that need to be harvested before the cold weather sets in. And a bountiful harvest is always considered a great blessing from God.
The farmer’s wife is no less busy. She has many crops that need to be gathered from the garden and fruit that needs to be harvested from the trees. We had many fruit trees on our farm, so there were lots of peaches, pears, and apples to be canned.
My dad and several of my brothers ate applesauce with almost every meal. If something was too hot they doused it with applesauce to cool it off. I agree, it sounds disgusting. I don’t know what was wrong with them?? Because who wants all their food to taste like applesauce? But we had applesauce on the table with almost every meal. So you can imagine how much of it we had to can, to last for a whole year. Canning applesauce was a chore that I did not enjoy. And I had the attitude that if they wanted to eat so much applesauce all the time, they could help to can it too. But of course, canning and preserving food was the women’s work. And I was always quite thankful when we were finished with it for the season.
Best Apples for Apple Dumplings
There are many different opinions on what kind of apples to use for baking. Personally, I like to use Granny Smith apples for baking, although sometimes I will mix up different kinds of tart apples. But Granny Smiths are tart and tangy apples that hold up well when baking. And they are my first choice when making this Amish apple dumplings recipe. The caramel sauce that gets poured over the dumplings is very sweet, so I like to use tart apples to balance the sweetness.
Authentic Amish Apple Dumpling Recipe
This Pennsylvania Dutch apple dumplings recipe uses whole apples. Once I made an apple dumpling dessert with chopped apples layered between the crust in a cake pan, and it was really good. But I love making these old-fashioned apple dumplings that are just like my grandma’s apple dumplings. They remind me of home and my childhood. They are comfort food for me.
To make the dumplings, peel and core six apples. Put a tiny bit of brown sugar and lots of cinnamon inside the cavity of the apples.
Roll the crust into an 18″ x 12 1/2″ rectangle. Cut the dough into 6 equal squares. Place a whole apple onto a square and fold the dough up over the apple to cover it completely. Seal the edges at the top. (You can wet the edges with a tiny bit of cold water before pushing them together to give it a better seal.)
Spread the six dumplings in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Pour the sauce over the top of the apple dumplings, and bake for fifty minutes to one hour, or until the apples are soft.
When serving, drizzle the caramel sauce over the top of the apple dumplings and enjoy them warm with vanilla ice cream. So delicious!
More Amish Recipes with apples
Amish Apple Dumplings Recipe
- 6 crisp, tart apples
- brown sugar
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2/3 c. butter or shortening
- 3/4 c. milk
- 2 c. brown sugar
- 2 c. water
- 1/4 c. butter = 4 Tbs.
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- Peel and core six apples. Put a pinch of brown sugar inside the cavity of each whole apple and sprinkle with cinnamon, according to your taste.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
To Make the Crust:
- Mix flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Cut in the butter, using a pastry blender, until particles are about the size of small peas.
- Add the milk and press together gently, working the dough only enough to hold it together. Do not overmix. If the dough is too dry and doesn't want to hang together, add more milk until it becomes cohesive.
- Sprinkle your clean countertop with flour and roll out the dough as you would for a pie. But you want to roll it out into about an 18 x 12 1/2" rectangle instead of a circle.
- Cut the rectangle into six equal-sized squares. Place a whole apple onto each square, and gather the dough up over the apple. Moisten the top edges with a bit of cold water and fasten them securely at the top of the apple. You will want to try to create a seal. Although some of mine will crack open a bit sometimes when baking, and it's not a big deal.
- Spread the six dumplings into a greased 9 x 13" baking dish.
- Combine brown sugar, water, and cinnamon in a saucepan. Bring to boil, and boil lightly for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the butter, and stir until melted.
- Pour the sauce over the top of the dumplings.
- Bake, uncovered, for 50 – 55 minutes or until apples feel soft when poked.
- Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.