Wish Upon A Dish: Updated and Slimmed Down Easy Apple Dumplings

October 25, 2012

Updated and Slimmed Down Easy Apple Dumplings

My Mom was President of our local Junior Woman's Club. Once a month they would have a committee meeting to decide how to raise money for donations they gave to local worthy causes. One of these was the proverbial cookbook that I think in some areas are still published today and the older books are in prized collections. I happened to find one during my local supermarket's book drive. I could not wait to dig in.

While not as old as some of the ones out there, I got a kick out of recipes submitted that were supposed to be the person's favorite and all-time requested recipe. Even only 20 years ago, the dishes were still archaic compared to today's fare. Not one fresh vegetable side dish, no olive oil, not even Monterrey Jack cheese.
People still opened cans, bags of frozen vegetables and boxed cake mixes. They didn't use spices or herbs because they were not available. It was the way many families ate and while some of them were probably great covered dishes in their day, I think that there was way too much sugar and dairy used. How can they complain that the kids of today are in trouble. Americans have been eating this way for at least 65 years from the end of WWII to now. Even with all the information available, I see blogs that continue to post these same dishes and we still eat that way. I think that everyone I know at my age is on either Lipitor or a BP pill. and those 15-20 years younger will be right behind us.

I happened to stumble on an Apple Dumpling recipe on a popular blog that was so obscenely ridiculous with the amounts of butter, sugar and soda that my arteries hardened and my BS soared just reading the recipe. I can only think that this was also from a homegrown cookbook who's recipes made the circuit at all the gatherings where it was traditional to bring a covered dish. After a search on Google, I was surprised I did not see more than a handful of variations on this style dumpling. Although the concept is a good one there had to be a better, healthier way to make these dumplings.
I hit the kitchen with 3 packages of crescent roll dough.

Maybe there is hope for the younger generation after all.

Easy Updated Apple Dumplings
makes 8 dumplings
  • 1 (8oz) can refrigerated reduced fat crescent rolls
  • 1 large apple, cored, peeled and cut into 8 wedges (I used a Rome)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter substitute (I like ICBINB baking sticks)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Truvia
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup orange, apple or cranberry juice, no sugar added
  • Creme fraiche (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°.
Separate dinner roll dough into eight triangles. Place an apple wedge on the large end and roll to the other end.
Place in a sprayed 9" square baking dish, with room between each dumpling and brush with the melted butter.
Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the dumplings. Pour juice into the pan around the sides.
Cover with aluminum foil.  Bake for 35 minutes. Do not place on a sheet pan, we need the heat to hit the bottom of the baking pan.

Without the creme fraiche this is not a-bad-for-you dessert as long as you eat one. Well, maybe you could eat two if you were good at dinner.....
I subscribe to the school of moderation and no deprivation.

You could use sugar free juices but with the Truvia, it was on the brink of going over to the dark side of sugar sub aftertaste, so I opted for no sugar added and it worked out fine.

You could add a spoonful of dried cranberries or raisins to each dumpling and reduce the sugar to 1 tablespoon.

These were easy to make, took me all of 10 minutes to wrap and roll. I would add the juice right before baking or it will start to break down the dough so up till that step these can be made, covered with the foil and placed in the fridge. Just remember to remove them while the oven is preheating.

I found myself with extra sugar/cinnamon so I sprinkled 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon/sugar mixture on the apple slices before wrapping with the dough. This might seem like a little amount of sugar but I was generous and still did not use all of it. I sprinkled the last of it on top of the dumplings as soon as they came out of the oven but I think a small drizzle cinnamon glaze would make these have more eye appeal. Let them cool to the touch, they would be great served warm, but I put mine into cupcake liners to eat on the go. Make these just for the way it makes your house smell....yummy!!

I have to say these were really good, better than I expected and The Nudge is going to will love them. The apple did not break down, there was plenty of moisture to steam the dough and enough sugar and cinnamon to flavor them all. I would not change a thing, except maybe the fillings. I am going to try these with fresh roasted pineapple and another batch with banana slices and brown sugar (like a Banana's Foster).
Now top these with a scoop of frozen yogurt and you have a second alternate dessert for Thanksgiving.
Even I get tired of pumpkin pie.

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