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A favorite fall treat

Someone in our house is having a birthday this week (on the 30th) and has requested apple dumplings rather than a birthday cake. Several years ago I found this recipe and it has become a family favorite. Let me tell you a little story.

I first came to know the Lord while I was in high school through the witness of a friend from school. Soon after I was saved I met a woman, Norma, from my church who was about my mother's age. I came to find out that Norma and my mother had known each other many years earlier when they had worked together in a munitions plant during WWII. My mother had even been a bridesmaid in Norma's wedding. In the intervening years Norma had come to know the Lord and started attending the little church that I attended.

Anyway, to make a long story short, Norma and my mom became reacquainted and Norma very faithfully ministered to my mom and witnessed to her over the years until one day mom professed her faith and trust in the Lord as her personal saviour too. Norma did not have an easy life as her husband was not a believer and was very unkind to her. In spite of her own trials Norma was a faithful witness and the Lord used her greatly to bless my life.

Often when I was home from college Norma would invite Mom and me over for a meal. It was at one of these meals that I first tasted apple dumplings. Norma's dumplings were absolutely delicious! From the first time I ate them I hoped that she would serve them every time we would visit.

Being the diligent home economics student that I was I also asked her how she made them. She gave me some very sketchy directions which I eventually tried, but my dumplings were nothing like Norma's.

After Rob and I were married I continued my quest for a good dumpling recipe and finally found success when I found this recipe in the book Hospitality with Confidence by Grace Pittman. It is a book that I used for several years in teaching a class on Christian hospitality.

picture of Hospitality With Confidence

These dumplings are very rich, so save them for a special treat. Grace has aptly named them:

World's Greatest Apple Dumplings
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup butter

Combine all ingredients above in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 3 minutes. Set aside.

6 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsps. baking powder
3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup milk

Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut in the shortening as if you were making biscuits. Stir in the milk to make a soft dough. Roll out to 1/4" thickness. (For 6 dumplings I roll it out to a 15" x 10" rectangle. For 12 dumplings 16" x 12".) Cut the dough into the number of squares desired. Place apple slices in each square. Fold the corners in to make an envelope shape. Don't worry if these look messy. Place the filled dumplings in a 9" x 13" baking dish. Pour the syrup over the dumplings making sure every bit of the dough is moistened by the syrup. You might want to use a spoon as you do this. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Serve warm with cream, whipped cream, or ice cream. You can reheat any leftovers.

Here are the raw dumplings being spooned with syrup:

picture of SpooningSyrup

Here are the baked dumplings, right out of the oven:

picture of Baked Dumplings

Here is a dumpling topped with ice cream, ready to be enjoyed:

picture of Dumpling with Ice Cream

These are delectable and I hope you will try them sometime. It's amazing that such simple ingredients can be combined to make such a delicious dish. It's also amazing that that a simple friendship can change the course of a life for all eternity.


P.S. Here is a picture of my faithful assistant blogger, Adelaide. She hops up beside me on the desk whenever I am at the computer.

picture of Wanda Simone

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16 Comments on “A favorite fall treat”

  1. #1 Reverie
    on Sep 28th, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Apple Dumplings have been a favorite at our house since I was a little girl. My mom used the recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens recipe book which looks very similar to this recipe. In recent years, my mom taught me a shortcut for the dough–use Pillsbury pie crusts instead. Not quite as good as homemade, but a very reasonable substitute.

    Now my family has a tradition. The day we first go to pick apples in the fall, we have apple dumplings for supper. Good choice, Rob 🙂

  2. #2 brenda@coffeeteabooksandme
    on Sep 28th, 2009 at 11:48 am

    I love that book. Although I gave most of my similar books to my daughter over the years, I kept that one. It has great recipes and it’s fun to go back and read once in awhile.

    Hmmm… may have to make the apple dumplings. I haven’t tried that recipe.

  3. #3 Deb
    on Sep 28th, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Becka ~ thank you for the recipe; we will have to try it with some fall apples after we stop by The Apple Shed this week. I’ve read many books on Hospitality but haven’t seen the one you mentioned. And..I didn’t know you taught a class on Christian Hospitality ~ oh, I would love to be in one of your lectures!

  4. #4 Becka
    on Sep 28th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    That sounds like a fun tradition! Mrs. Yearick is my Sunday School Teacher at Hampton Park and her family has the tradition of apple dumplings whenever there is snow. You probably get to eat them oftener than she does down here!

  5. #5 Becka
    on Sep 28th, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Deb, I used to teach Home Economics (back when it was still called that) and that was one of the courses I taught. It is a very good book and has a number of recipes in the back. If you ever find a copy you might want to snatch it up.

  6. #6 Becka
    on Sep 28th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Brenda, you really do need to try this recipe. It’s quite good and the dough is easier to work with than pie crust. 🙂

    The book is one of my favorites. I actually wrote to the author a few years back and thanked her for writing it and told her what a blessing it had been to me and got a nice letter in reply from her.

    I posted the recipe for the Cinnamon Rolls from a cake mix from this book a while back. It makes a nice quick cinnamon roll and is handy when you need to make several dozen for a gathering. The dough is sort of a combination of a yeast dough and a biscuit dough.
    You might need to try that one too.

    I’ve been thinking about you a great deal lately regarding the loss of your little companion. We have two cats who are both around the age of fourteen. We lost another one about a year ago to cancer. He was a beautiful white stray who stayed. He turned up one year out in our yard and hid under our discarded Christmas tree for about a week until we took pity on him and let him come in.
    I had never had a male cat before, but he was the most affectionate cat I have ever known. We were comforted when we lost him that his last few years had been happy ones.

  7. #7 Carrie
    on Sep 28th, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Yum! My mom made apple dumplings once or twice–very memorable. I should make these for our family! Please pat your kitty for me. . .

  8. #8 Vikki
    on Sep 28th, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    I too have made the recipe in the Better Home and Gardens cookbook (the old version) but haven’t made them for years. Problem is that I tend to break the apples trying to core them. Is there a trick to it or could the apples be used already cut into chunks?

  9. #9 Becka
    on Sep 28th, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Vikki, I always cut the apples into slices or chunks for the dumplings. I quarter them and then core and peel each quarter with a paring knife. You’ll have to give them a try this way

  10. #10 Becka
    on Sep 28th, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    It sounds like you have a very workable schedule for your housework. Dusting is my least favorite chore too. I try to bribe myself by purchasing new dusting tools from time to time (feather duster, microfiber mitt, etc.) but it’s still not much fun. 🙂

    You will have to give the dumplings a try, although it sounds like fall might be just about over in Alaska!

    I will give Adelaide a pat on the head from you and have my husband put you on the shawl list. Don’t hold your breath though, he generally prefers smaller projects.

  11. #11 Tammy
    on Oct 1st, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Our pastor’s daughter is a Grace Pittman!

  12. #12 Melissa
    on Oct 1st, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Mrs. Loach,

    I have never commented before, but I really enjoy reading your blog and this time I just had to comment!

    After reading your comments to your commentors 🙂 on the book that you recommened, Hospitality with Confidence, I looked for it on and found 16 copies available. I just ordered two, each for $0.01 plus the shipping cost of $3.99. So . . . at least at that location there are still 14 copies available!

  13. #13 Becka
    on Oct 2nd, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    Melissa. I’m so glad that you have been enjoying my blog. It’s been very surprising to me to find that people other than my family read it!
    Thanks for commenting and letting me know you are out there.

    I’m also glad that you were able to find the books at such a great price and I hope you will enjoy reading it. Mrs. Pittman gives a lot of good practical information and a number of good recipes all from a Christian perspective

  14. #14 Carol
    on Oct 3rd, 2009 at 5:44 am

    Mrs Loach,

    I just finished up the last of these amazing Apple Dumplings and decided to sit right down and thank you! My whole family loved them and, in fact, my husband was sad to see the pan was empty. I will be remaking them very soon. The dough, as you mentioned in the comment section above, is very easy to work with. This really is a very easy recipe to put together and works well (as I always like to add) in my toaster oven. 🙂

    Just an FYI, whenever I see that you have posted a new recipe I immediately open up Microsoft word, copy and paste it and then put it into its own Special “Mrs Loach” file on my desktop. 🙂

  15. #15 Becka
    on Oct 3rd, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    I am so glad that you enjoyed the dumplings! You are the third person who has told me that they made them this week. I think people just think of apples when it’s fall. I’m glad that you are able to get all the ingredients to make them in your neck of the woods and that they turned out well in your toaster oven.
    I am also honored that you have a file in my name. 🙂
    I’ve been thinking about you as you study and hope your eyes are improving.


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