Serves: 6Hands-on: 25 minutesTotal: 1 hourDifficulty: Medium
- 1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 1 1⁄2 cups water
- 1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
- 1⁄2 tsp. ground nutmeg, divided
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2⁄3 cup vegetable shortening
- 1⁄2 cup milk
- 6 medium apples, peeled and cored
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 Tbsp. sanding sugar
- In a saucepan, combine 1 cup granulated sugar, water, 1⁄4 tsp. cinnamon, and 1⁄4 tsp. nutmeg. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add 2 tablespoons butter. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the shortening and, using a pastry blender, cut in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the milk all at once and stir just until the flour is moistened. Gather into a ball and place on a lightly floured work surface.
- Roll out the dough into an 18-by-14-inch rectangle 1⁄8 inch thick. Cut a strip 2 inches wide from the short end of the rectangle and use this dough to create 6 or 12 leaf shapes. Cut the remaining dough into 6 squares (6 inches in diameter).
- Place a whole apple in the center of each square. Sprinkle each apple with the remaining granulated sugar and the remaining cinnamon and nutmeg; dot with the remaining butter. Moisten the edges of the squares. Bring up the corners to the center and pinch the edges together to seal. Top each dumpling with one or two leaves and a clove for a “stem.”
- Place apples 1 inch apart in an ungreased 11 1⁄2-by-7 1⁄2-inch baking pan. Pour the syrup over the dumplings; sprinkle with sanding sugar.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until the apples are tender. Serve warm.