I love apple time!
Growing up, we always went to my uncle’s orchard in Xenia for apples. Mike’s dad also had lots of apple trees. When we first bought our house we planted apple trees — one for each of our children. An heirloom Spitzenburg for Patrick because that was Thomas Jefferson’s favorite and as a 7-year-old, Pat liked Jefferson.
A Red Rome Beauty for Jill (a good baking apple), Macintosh for Becky (a flavorful all-around good apple that makes delicious sauce), and Jonathon for our baby John (a good eating apple). Apples can be part of any meal — in a salad, in a sauce, sautéed, in muffins, in breakfast casserole and in all kinds of desserts. And I don’t think Mike likes anything more than apple pie!
In the last couple of weeks, as we traveled around the state campaigning we have been to two apple festivals. The first one was in Jackson County for their annual apple festival. Even the water tower is painted like an apple! It is a wonderful festival with a parade and all kinds of apple foods.
So our big decision was which apple food should we sample. The apple dumplings looked really good, so we split one, with ice cream. It was delicious. It was made with a cored whole apple and a pie-crust like wrapping. The woman who served us said she had made them (she made hundreds) and that she used apples in her sauce. It was absolutely delicious!
Last Saturday we went to Lebanon for their apple festival. Again we saw a vast array of apple products and the caramel apples looked delicious. But I was again drawn to the apple dumplings. These were totally different than the ones in Jackson County. They were made with sliced apples, wrapped in pastry dough, each in its own deep foil aluminum pan with lots of sauce. Delicious and big enough to share!
So here is my recipe. If you’re not comfortable making your own pastry dough, you can use commercial refrigerated dough. Just stuff in lots of apples and use a mix of varieties for more flavor and texture. The syrup makes a delicious gooey crust. Serve warm with or without ice cream. A real treat!
Mike’s Favorite Apple Dumplings
2 1/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Crisco
5 tablespoons water
10 apples, pare and slice
Mix flour and salt. Cut in Crisco. Sprinkle with water. Mix. Roll and cut into 8 pieces.
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup minute tapioca
On each piece of dough, place:
2 tablespoons cinnamon mixture
small pat of butter
Shape into balls. Place round side up in 9 x 13 inch pan. Cover with syrup and bake at 350°.
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Boil until sugar is dissolved.
Fran DeWine is a Cedarville resident, wife of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and guest columnist. She recently released her newest cookbook, Fran DeWine and Tina Husted’s Family Favorites.