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Pennsylvania Dutch Apple Dumplings

MacGregor Mann, sous chef at Amada restaurant in Philadelphia, created these apple dumplings, which make an inspired dessert for autumn gatherings and holiday meals.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 2/3 cup ice-cold water
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes

For the apples:

  • 4 honeycrisp apples, each 6 to 8 oz.
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp. water
  • Warmed cream for serving (optional)
  • Caramel sauce for serving (optional)

Directions:

To make the dough, in a small bowl, dissolve the salt in the water. In a food processor, pulse together the flour and baking powder until combined. Add the chilled butter pieces and process until the butter resembles the size of small peas. Gradually drizzle in the ice water mixture, pulsing to combine. Remove the dough from the food processor. Divide the dough into 2 balls and flatten each into a disk. Wrap separately with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

To prepare the apples, peel and core each apple, then cut each apple in half crosswise. In a bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Rub each apple evenly with the sugar mixture. Combine the remaining sugar mix with the butter and set aside.

Remove 1 dough disk from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes. Divide the disk into 4 equal pieces. Working in batches, on a floured surface, roll out a piece of dough 1/8 inch thick and about 8 inches square. Place an apple half, cut side down, in the center of the dough square and fill the core with some of the reserved butter-sugar mixture. Pull the dough around the apple to create a beggar’s purse and gently tie the corners together with butcher’s twine. Repeat the process with the remaining dough and apple halves.

Transfer the wrapped apples to a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush the dough with the egg mixture. Bake until the dough is golden brown and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Remove the apple dumplings from the oven and let cool slightly. Serve with warmed cream and caramel sauce. Serves 8.

Recipe by Chef MacGregor Mann, Amada, Philadephia.