The New Apple Dumpling Gang

One of the perks of living in Michigan is fall.  I know, I know: I said in the plum tart post that I hate fall because it’s basically “pre-winter.”  It is.  It is pre-winter.  However, like any good femme fatale, there are certain things about it that you can’t help but be seduced by even knowing that it will end with gunshots and tears icy roads and snow-shoveling.  Like super crisp blue skies, shimmery gold and red leaves, corn mazes and most of all, Michigan apples.  Because where there are Michigan apples, there’s cider and donuts.  And wherever there is cider and donuts, you’ll find me, nomming out.

[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Did you know that apples are Michigan’s most valuable food crop?  They bring in $700 million dollars a year.  [/box]

So this week will be my Ode to the Michigan Apple.  Starting with super-easy, super-tasty, super-cute apple dumplings.  Recipe Below.


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Apple Dumplings

Yield: 4

Serving Size: 1 dumpling


  • Apple Dumplings
  • Ingredients
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar plus 4 tbsp
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (I used vanilla bean balsamic)
  • 4 apples, peeled and cored
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries or raisins
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
  • tart dough (recipe below) or your favorite pie crust


  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. First, make the glaze for the dumplings. In a small saucepan over medium heat, boil together 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, the water, balsamic vinegar and butter until slightly reduced. Turn off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the extra 4 tablespoons of brown sugar with the cranberries, cinnamon and vanilla. Divide evenly and stuff inside the four prepared apples.
  4. Divide your pie crust and roll it out into 4 equal parts. Roll each part out into a wide enough circle to encompass an apple. Place an apple into the center of each circle and fold the dough up and around the apple, covering it entirely.
  5. Place each apple into a baking pan and brush liberally with the glaze. Bake for 30 minutes or so, re-glazing every 10, until golden brown.
  6. Tart Crust
  7. 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  8. 2 tablespoons sugar
  9. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  10. 1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter cubes
  11. 3 tablespoons ice water
  12. Combine flour, sugar salt and cold butter in the processor; pulse a few times until you get that “coarse meal” kind of look. Then drizzle in a few tablespoons of ice cold water and pulse until the dough comes together into a ball. Wrap in plastic and store it in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight.


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