Perhaps you know the recipe. Perhaps you have one like it, but for another dish. It is easy, quick and usually unhealthy, and involves a “surprise” ingredient.
I don’t like surprises.
This recipe is for Apple Dumplings, and the surprise is sugary soda. The original recipe calls for apple slices wrapped in canned crescent rolls topped with a butter-sugar mixture and drenched in Mountain Dew before baking. While I love the idea of a quick and easy apple dumpling recipe, the thought of baking with Mountain Dew left me feeling a little queasy. So I spent a week remaking this dorm-style recipe into an amazing dessert.
First I decided to cut and core the apples and leave them in halves. This gives a better apple to pastry ratio and gives the final dish a prettier presentation. After trying many different types of pastry for wrapping the apples I settled on prepared frozen puff pastry. It’s high butter content and flaky texture elevate this dessert from its humble origin to something that could be served at a dinner party. The top layer of puff pastry caramelizes in the oven, giving a brittle, crispy contrast to the soft, doughy bottom layer.
Replacing the Mountain Dew was surprisingly easy. Sparkling apple cider was the best alternative to combine with the butter-sugar topping to create a delicious sauce that thickens in the oven as the dumplings bake.
Finally, just before putting it all in the oven I added a sprinkle of cinnamon on top, a classic combination that will fill your house with wafts of holiday cheer.
Apple dumplings are rich and delicious on their own, but if you want to guild the lily — as I always do — serve them in a bowl with a liberal pour of heavy cream.
You’ll never have to buy Mountain Dew again.
• 4 Granny Smith or other tart baking apple, peeled, cored and cut in half
• 1 sheet good quality frozen puff pastry, defrosted and cut into 8 squares
• 1 stick butter
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1 ½ cups sparking apple cider
• Cinnamon for sprinkling on top of dumplings
• Optional heavy cream for serving
Pre heat oven to 450 degrees
Wrap each cored and peeled apple half in 1 square of puff pastry and put in a medium sized casserole dish just large enough to hold all of them.
Melt butter and sugar in a small saucepan until butter is melted and mixture is just combined. Mixture will still be grainy.
Spoon melted butter/sugar mixture on top of each dumpling. Then pour sparkling apple cider in pan. Sprinkle each apple dumpling generously with cinnamon.
Bake in a preheated 450-degree oven for 40-45 minutes. Pastry on top should be deeply caramelized and apples should be firm but easily pierced with a knife.
Remove from oven and serve warm with heavy cream.
A very special thanks to Papebird Photography for the beautiful images in this post.
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