Last updated February 1, 2017

Apples are here! Apples are here! It’s that time of year when bushels upon bushels of apples fill our farmer’s markets, and if we’re lucky, our kitchens. In Belgium, we had three apple trees in our backyard, and I was always looking for new ways to bake up the ruby beauties. I wish I had had this recipe back then.

Recently, I traveled to Atlanta for my Godson’s first birthday. It was a full house of non-stop cooking and eating. It was great. The first morning, my sister-in-law was craving her mom’s famous Pennsylvania Dutch Apple Dumplings. Traditions filled the kitchen as they gathered up the ingredients.

Alyssa peeled the apples while her mom, Cathy, prepared the homemade pastry. Less than an hour later, the sweet treats came out of the oven.

I always thought dumplings were a dessert dish, but Cathy said she’s served these for her kids for breakfast, dinner and dessert. Since I have a huge sweet tooth, I had no objections to starting my day this way.

Cathy scooped a dumpling into a bowl and recommended I pour milk on top and mash it a bit. It was like hot apple oatmeal only way better.

Cathy was gracious enough to allow me to share her recipe on my blog. I baked a batch up this morning just to make sure I had the hang of it, and I’m sharing the foundation recipe with you. But as always at Zestuous, feel free to make this your own by adding nuts, cheese, brown sugar or anything else you fancy. And experiment with different apples.

~Special thanks to Cathy LaForme for allowing me to share her family recipe on Zestuous.

Pennsylvania Dutch Apple Dumplings

Pennsylvania Dutch Apple Dumplings


    Pastry Crust Ingredients
  • 1 stick (1 cup) Crisco shortening
  • 300 grams (2 1/3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 5-7 tablespoons cold water
  • Pennsylvania Dutch Apple Dumplings Ingredients
  • 1 batch pastry crust
  • 7 Courtland apples
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 /4 cup milk
Pastry Crust Instructions

Mix the shortening, flour and salt with a pastry blender. Add water one tablespoon at a time until the dough is smooth and doesn’t crack when flattened.

Roll the dough into a log.

Slice off seven equal pieces.

Peel and core the apples.

Mix the sugar and cinnamon and toss each apple into the mixture.

Roll 1/7 of the pastry crust into a small circle. Place a sugarcoated apple into the center of the circle. Pull the crust up to the top of the apple being careful not to tear it.

Place ½ tablespoon butter into the center of the core. Sprinkle in more sugar.

Place the pastry-wrapped apples onto a foil or Silpat-lined baking sheet. Brush each with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes, until the apples are tender.

Serve with milk, ice cream or caramel sauce.


Recipe courtesy of Cathy LaForme