Have you ever tasted Autumn? I have, and for me it is apples stuffed with cinnamon, pecans and caramel; baked until tender, in a light and buttery puff pastry!
This old fashioned dessert is simple, filling and tasty. The tart apples paired with the sweet caramel, offer just the right amount of sweetness, creating the perfect balance.
I know some people like to add some kind of sugar based sauce to their dumplings, but here, there simply is no need. The apples are stuffed with a rich caramel that produces a wonderfully creamy and slightly runny center, eliminating the need for any sauce. The only thing needed at this point is vanilla ice cream and an extra hour at the gym :)
The most time consuming part of this recipe is making the caramel (Dulce de leche). The rest is as simple as it gets. If you are short on time, you could always use a good quality store bought Dulce de leche. Stonewall Kitchen makes a good one.
For convenience and ease I have used ready made puff pastry. But if you prefer the painstaking process of making your own, I applaud you!
Makes 4 dumplings.
4 small granny smith apples
1/2 cup caramel
1/3 cup roughly chopped pecans
2 sheets puff pastry
1 tsp cinnamon
A few tbls of brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
Vanilla ice cream to serve
Preheat oven to 375F.
Thin pastry out a little and cut into 4 squares. Reserve scraps for decoration.
Starting from the bottom, carefully core the apples to within 3/4 inch of the top. The aim here is to leave the stem intact for some rustic charm. Next, peel the apples.
Mix together the caramel, pecans and cinnamon. Spoon mixture into the apple cavities. Sprinkle the pastry squares with a little brown sugar. Carefully place each apple (stem side up) onto the center of each square. Moisten the pastry edges with a bit of water. Bring the edges of the pastry together pinching to seal around the stem. Decorate with leaves using leftover pastry.
Place dumplings on a baking sheet and brush with the beaten egg. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until pastry is golden and the apples are just tender. Insert a toothpick to be sure. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.