All week I have been pondering what will be the first recipe I post on here for 2012. Ohh . . . so many recipes to choose from . . . I could drive myself mad with choice you know! I have that many cook books.
My favourite cook books though are not the ones that come with the fancy covers, filled with pretty and delicious looking pictures . . . written by this month's flavour of the month celebrity chef or otherwise . . .
They are my Big Blue Binder and a couple of notebooks where, throughout the years, I have laboriously copied out the creme de la creme of recipes . . . recipes gifted to me by friends and family. Recipes developed and tweaked through years of trial and error, until I have gotten them just so . . so . . . perfect. Well, perfect for me at any rate.
This is simple food using simple ingredients with wowsa wowsa flavours. Tried and true. Family and husband tested . . . our absolute favourites. I did write a book with some of the best ones in it a few years back. You can find it here. I'm quite proud of it as I did it all myself . . . I know a publisher would have done a better job probably, but I did my best, and that's what counts.
Anyways, so back to the recipe. I decided to make these apple dumplings for several reasons. One . . . they aren't something that I make very often, like maybe only ever 5 or 6 years. (They are good artery cloggers and hip expanders!!!)
Two, I wanted to spoil my husband with one of his favourite things for the New Year. He loves anything with apple in it.
Three . . . the crunch is on to get ready for two family weddings in June/July . . . so . . . diet time starts today . . . I have to really cut back on the goodies now. I thought . . . why not go out with a real humdinger!
And so . . . I did. I don't regret even one mouthful. So there.
*Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings*
I don't know anyone who doesn't love these. They're fantastic, and they're not as difficult to make as one would suppose.
6 medium sized firm cooking apples (I used granny smiths)
2 TBS lemon juice
3.5 ounces granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
soft light brown sugar
2 TBS butter
enough pastry for 2 10-inch pie crusts
For the sauce:
500ml of water (2 cups)
5 ounces granulated sugar (about 3/4 cup)
2 TBS butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
Cream for serving
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Have ready a 9 by 13 by 2 inch baking pan, which you have lightly buttered.
Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle measuring 14 by 21 inches. Cut into six even squares. Whisk together the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
Peel and core the apples, leaving whole. Put the lemon juice in a bowl and roll the apples in this, then roll them into the bowl of cinnamon sugar to coat. Place each apple into the centre of one pastry square. Fill the cavity of each apple with 2 TBS soft light brown sugar and 1 tsp of butter. Pull up the sides of the pastry squares to cover each apple, crimping the edges tightly shut. Place into the prepared pan.
Bake for 1/2 hour.
In the meantime, combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to the boil and cook rapidly for 1 minute. After the dumplings have been cooking for 1/2 hour, pour the sauce over top and then return to the oven, continuing to bake for a further 1/2 hour, basting occasionally.
Serve warm with cream for pouring. Delicious.
Over in The Cottage today, the extreme opposite from such decadence . . . Green Beans Almondine!