Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings

Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings by Lael Harrelson

You open the front door and the smell of apples, sugar, cinnamon, and buttery crust fills you with joy…and a little terror. When you come from a big family, there is always a secret concern you won’t get your share. Maybe big brother already grabbed the last slice of apple pie when mom wasn’t looking. It’s always a relief to see your mom made each person their own personal dessert! I present to you one of my favorite childhood recipes passed on to us by a dear Mennonite friend.

Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings

6 medium apples
2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup milk
Sauce
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups water
1/4 cup butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Pare and core apples. Leave whole. To make pastry, sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Cut in the shortening until particles are about the size of small peas. Sprinkle milk over mixture and press together lightly, working dough only enough to hold together. Roll dough as for pastry and cut into 6 squares and place an apple on each. Fill cavity in apple with sugar and cinnamon.

Pat dough around apple to cover it completely. Fasten edges securely on top of apple. Place dumplings 1 inch apart in a greased baking pan. Make the sauce and pour over dough. Sauce instructions: Combine brown sugar, water, and spices. Cook for five minutes, remove from heat, and add butter. Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes. Baste occasionally during baking. Serve hot with cream.


Lael Harrelson’s writings and ministry have been featured in nationwide publications as well as on radio and television. Her story and ministry are a part of the Documentary, “Love, Sweat and Tears.” She has recently completed her first full-length novel, HUSH. Raised in the Mennonite church, Lael left the lifestyle at 26 and started a new life of freedom in Christ. She has backpacked across Europe, taught school in Haiti, and worked as a nurse in West Africa. Lael lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband of 20 years. She has 5 children, 3 of whom are adopted from Haiti.


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