I had all but forgotten about it after I had moved away until I happened to see my apple peeler-slicer-corer and fondant stamp cutters all on one table - and suddenly, there was a eureka moment in which I realized all of these can come together in one happy marriage. So I adapted my favorite apple pie recipe and added a few other fixings and voila - this is now my new favorite way to get my apple a day.
- Measure out the ingredients for the stuffing and mix in a bowl.
- Make the pie sauce before peeling the apples so that the apples don't sit out too long and brown. Melt the butter in a saucepan on low heat and stir in the flour and water. Then add the vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Let simmer for a few minutes while stirring, then turn off the heat and leave the saucepan on the stove to remain warm.
- While the pie dough is still in a ball, divide into four sections. Roll each section out (feel free to use any shape you want - square, triangle, circle - as long as it is roughly equilateral).
- Core the apples. (You can also optionally peel and spiral-slice them.) Place one apple in the center of one of the rolled out dough sections. Fill the apple core with the stuffing - if you wish, you may also pile some around the base of the apple.
- Spoon out approximately a quarter of the pie sauce onto the apple, letting it drip down the sides. Pool a larger spoonful over the center where the stuffing is.
- Wrap the dough up around the apple. Use the bowl of water and wet the edges of the folded pieces of dough before pressing them closed to seal them. If you wish to add decorative bits of dough, you can also paste them on with the water.
- Put the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 425 F. Place the apple dumplings on a baking sheet. Prepare a heat shield using foil - it should cover all four dumplings at least halfway down their sides (you can also make 4 individual ones if you don't have large enough foil to cover all at once). If you wish to do an egg wash, brush it onto the crust now.
- Leaving the dumplings uncovered for now, put them in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Turn the oven down to 350 F and cover the dumplings with the heat shield. Continue baking for another 25 minutes for firmer apples, 35 minutes for softer apples.
- Remove and let cool on a wire rack.