Monday, July 30, 2012

Southeast Meets Western Frontier: Apple Dumplings

Southeast Meets Western Frontier:  Apple Dumplings.  Just like any other red-blooded American, I LOVE apple pie; therefore, Ree's Apple Dumplings recipe caught my eye immediately. 

Step One:  SHOP
My Ingredients.
I used the following ingredients:

  • 2 apples
  • 3 peaches
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2/3 cup of buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons Agave Nectar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 12 oz Canada Dry club soda
  • Ground cinnamon to taste
  • Blue Bunny All Natural Frozen Yogurt to top

Step Two:  Peel Fruit

I'm in Georgia so I decided to also try peaches with this recipe.  I peeled 2 apples and 3 peaches and quartered each fruit.  If I were to repeat this, I would halve the fruit instead.  I found that the bread to fruit ratio was too high for my taste, and it slightly masked the delicious fresh fruit.   

Step Three:  Mix the Dough
Instead of using croissant dough from a can, I made my own dough.
I checked out the ingredients on a can of crescent roll dough (as described in the original recipe), and I decided to avoid preservatives and food dyes by whipping up my own dough.  In my magic food processor, I added 2 cups of self-rising flour (Southern Biscuit brand), 2/3 cup buttermilk and 4 tablespoons Agave Nectar. I turned on the food processor until I had a nice dough blob

Step Four:  Roll the Fruit Slices
Dough can be frustrating/sticky to work with so keep that extra flour handy.
If you've never worked with dough before, this is your warning:  It's sticky, and if you don't like that sort of thing, take a deep breath because you're in for a ride.  I fall into that category, and no one warned me.  I've overcome this kitchen quirk by setting out a cutting board (in this pic, it's one of the transparent flexible types), my blob of dough and some flour.  I then take a pinch of dough (with my hands), roll it between my palms and then flatten it into a nice little circle.  If it sticks to your fingers, just grab some of the dry flour; it's a life saver.  This can be used to wrap each fruit quarter/half. 

Step Five:  Arrange Dumplings in Baking Dish
Dumplings soaked in butter and lemon soda.
Place the wrapped dumplings into a baking dish, sprinkle with ground cinnamon and pour the melted stick of butter (original recipe calls for 2 sticks) over the dumplings.  To this, Ree then recommends pouring a 12 oz. can of Mountain Dew.  Again, I avoid high fructose corn syrup, food dyes and preservatives when possible so I combined the juice from two lemons, 12 oz. of Canada Dry club soda and 2 tablespoons of honey.  I'm in no way stating this is the best substitution for Mountain Dew BUT for my nutrition preferences, it worked. 

Step Six:  Bake
The finished product.
The original recipe baked at 350 degF for 40 min.  I found that with the juicy fresh peaches, however, it took an hour.  Basically, I would recommend checking the dumplings every 30 minutes to make sure they're being cooked adequately but not burned. 

Step Seven:  Enjoy! (...preferably with ice cream)
A la mode...
Yum!  I was excited to find the Blue Bunny all natural frozen yogurt options available.  The ingredients list was free of preservatives and food dyes so common to most frozen desserts.  I called two dumplings a serving, and as prepared, it made nine servings.  Servings are only dependent on how many dumplings you can fit in your baking dish. 

263 cal/ 41 g carbs/ 10 g fat/ 4 g protein per 2 dumplings

373 cal/ 60 g carbs/ 13 g fat/ 8 g protein per 2 dumplings and 0.5 cup frozen yogurt

  1. This freezes nicely.  Simply re-heat in the microwave and add a scoop of frozen yogurt. 
  2. I can't say that this has taken the place of apple pie in my book, but it is a fun treat with fresh fruit. 

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