Somewhere between soggy and crisp is the perfect texture of a pudding-like caramel crust. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, then you must try this recipe. Apple halves are dabbed with butter and wrapped in pie dough, parbaked at a high temperature to crisp and brown the pastry, then topped with a thin caramel syrup and baked at a lower temperature until the apples are tender, the pastry is golden brown on top and the bottom becomes like a warm apple-caramel pudding. The sweet caramel-apple pastry is beautifully complemented by a sprinkling of sea salt. Serve these with with ice cream or whipped cream and you will have a dessert made in heaven.
|SALTED CARAMEL APPLE DUMPLINGS |
ADAPTED FROM MCCORMICK.COM
RATING: 8.5 out of 10
Pie dough for a single crust pie
2 apples, peeled, cored and halved (I used Delicious)
4 tsp. unsalted butter, divided into 4 pieces
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. apple jack brandy
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, or other nut of choice
Coarse sea salt
Heat oven to 500F (475F for coated or dark pan). Roll out pie dough into a 13” circle and cut into 4 wedges. Place 1 apple half, cored side up onto each wedge. Fill center of each apple half with 1 tsp. butter. Carefully fold dough up over apple, pinching seams together to seal. Place dumplings, seam side down, in greased 8 x 8-inch baking dish.
Bring sugar, water, 1 Tbsp. butter and brandy to boil in small saucepan. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Set aside. Bake dumplings about 10 minutes, or till crust begins to brown. Reduce oven temperature to 350F. Pour the thin caramel sauce over dumplings (it will thicken as it bakes).
Bake about 40 minutes longer, or till apples are tender and pastry is golden brown.
To serve, place a warm dumpling in a dish. Spoon some sauce over top of dumpling. Top with some walnuts. Sprinkle sea salt over all.
If desired, serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Yield: 4 dumplings