Two of my guests brought apple pie for our Christmas gathering. We finally finished it today but soon there were cravings for another apple dessert so I am making Baked Apple Dumplings along with Sauce of Apple Dumplings. These recipes don’t have a contributor listed. They are part of a section in the 1906 Berlin Cook Book called Fruits in Various Ways.
I started by making the dough for the crust. I put four and a half cups of flour into a bowl and then added a tablespoon of butter and a pinch of salt. I double checked the amount of butter since it seemed so small but it was correct — butter the size of an egg. Once the butter was rubbed in I started adding milk. It took over one cup of regular milk to create a suitable dough for rolling. I rolled out the dough even thinner than the 1/2 inch required as it seemed very thick. I cut the dough into squares with four-inch sides. I put five squares on a greased cookie sheet.
Next my sister and I started preparing the filling. I thought about whether my sister should be helping. Did that compromise my idea of cooking everyday from the Berlin Cook Book. But then, I realized that of course people often worked together to make something even in 1906. We peeled both sweet apples (Macintosh) and tart (Spy) to create a more complex flavour in the filling. I chopped the apples into small pieces and mixed the together before putting two tablespoons in the centre of the squares of dough. I sprinkled flour on top of the apples and placed bits of butter too. I put two tablespoons of sugar on each square and we decided to add both cinnamon and lemon as flavour.
It was easier than I expected to fold the dough around the filling. I took opposite corners and brought them together and did the same on the opposite side of the square. I then squeezed the seams to seal them. I covered the pan while we all went out to the park to see the lights. Unfortunately just as we left my book case of cook books collapsed. We enjoyed the lights but on our return we boxed the books and I continued getting the dumplings ready so we could have a nice warm treat. I sprinkled sugar and bits of butter on top of each before pouring a cup of warm water around them on the pan. I baked the apple dumplings at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until they were beginning to brown.
While the dumplings baked I prepared the sauce. In a small saucepan, I creamed the butter and sugar and then added the flour. I stirred in the cream and finally mixed in the boiling water. I put the pan on the stove at low heat and kept stirring until everything was melted. Then I turned up the heat a bit and continued stirring as it thickened a bit. Once the dumplings were ready, I plated the with some sauce and we tasted.
The dumplings were too large for one each so I cut them in half and put the sauce around. They received mixed reviews. The crust was deemed cardboard by one person but others found it had a strange appeal. The filling was a hit. The sauce also was not appreciated by most of us. I had flavoured it with nutmeg and discovered several people don’t like that flavour. It was too milky for some people.
BAKED APPLE DUMPLINGS
Make a crust of one quart of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, butter or lard the size of an egg, and a pinch of salt. Rub all together and add enough of sweet milk to make a middling stiff dough; roll out about half an inch thick and cut into square pieces the size of a large saucer. Place 2 or 3 tablespoons of finely chopped apples in the centre of the dough, sprinkle with a little flour, lay some little pieces of butter on the apples, add a couple of tablespoons of sugar to each dumpling, flavor with lemon or cinnamon, then draw up the corners of the dough and pinch the edges together. Put into a large flat pan, giving room to swell. Sprinkle a little sugar and a few bits of butter over the top and pour into the pan half a pint of warm water. Bake until a nice brown. Serve hot with hot pudding sauce. These puddings can be made smaller, each one just the size for one person.
SAUCE OF APPLE DUMPLINGS
One teaspoon of sugar, 1/2 a teacup of butter, 2 teaspoons of cornstarch or sifted flour, cream the butter and sugar together, and add the sifted flour and 3 tablespoons of sweet cream. Mix thouroughly [sic] and pour in slowly 1 teacup of boiling water, stirring constantly. Flavor with lemon or nutmeg and serve warm with the dumplings.