As area festivalgoers enjoy the final day of Johnny Appleseed, we have one thing on our minds: Apple Dumplings. While we completely understand the occasional indulgence, and would never pretend we can improve upon the original, we did think it would be a fun exercise to give this fall favorite a homemade makeover. This recipe from Mirro Center Executive Chef Chris Zimmerman dishes up a little less guilt, but flavors that elicit that familiar nostalgia. Give it a try!
Apple Dumplings with Cider Sauce
Chris Zimmerman, Mirro Center Executive Chef
Apple Cider Sauce
8 cups apple cider or apple juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup golden raisins
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
6 sweet, crisp apples (Honeycrisp, Macoun or Braeburn)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
24 sheets phyllo dough (9-by-14-inch), thawed per package directions
- To prepare the Apple Cider Sauce, bring cider (or juice) to a boil in a large saucepan. Watch carefully and stir occasionally to keep bubbles down, until the juice is reduced to about 2 cups (30-40 minutes).
- Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl until smooth; whisk the cornstarch mixture into the boiling syrup. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking frequently, until thickened (2-4 minutes more). Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
- To prepare the Apple Dumplings, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine raisins, brown sugar and apple pie spice in a medium bowl. Peel, halve and core apples. Place cut-side up on a clean work surface; spoon a little of the raisin mixture into the center of each apple half. Sprinkle any remaining sugar mix over the apples.
- Combine butter and oil in a small bowl; set aside 2 tablespoons in another small bowl. Combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in a third small bowl.
- Unroll phyllo sheets onto a clean, dry surface, keeping them in a stack. Cover with a piece of wax paper and then a barely damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out.
- Lay out one sheet of phyllo on a clean, dry surface. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the sheet with butter mixture from the first bowl, then lightly sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar. Repeat, layering on 3 more sheets of phyllo. Coat and sprinkle the top sheet, too. Cut the phyllo stack in half crosswise. Place a stuffed apple half in the middle of each stack. Gather the sides of the phyllo together, pinching the corners, to enclose the apple. Transfer the dumplings to a large rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining phyllo and apples to make 12 dumplings total. Brush them with the reserved 2 tablespoons of butter mixture.
- Bake the dumplings until the phyllo is golden brown and crisp (35-40 minutes). Let stand at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes. Reheat the sauce, if desired. Serve the dumplings with the Apple Cider Sauce.