Apple Dumplings with Cheddar Pastry

You’ll Need:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening or butter-flavor shortening
1 (4 ounce) package shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (1 cup)
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup dark seedless raisins
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 small Golden Delicious apples (about 2 pound)
1 large egg
6 whole cloves
1 1/4 cups apple cider or apple juice
1/2 cup maple or maple flavor syrup

Procedures : Prepare pastry dough: In large bowl, with fork, stir flour and salt. With pastry blender or two knives used scissor-fashion, cut shortening into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; stir in cheese. Sprinkle 8 to 9 tablespoons cold water, a tablespoon at a time, into mixture, mixing lightly with fork after each addition until dough is just moist enough to hold together. With hands, shape dough into ball.

In small bowl, with fork, mix brown sugar, raisins, walnuts, margarine or butter, and cinnamon.

Peel apples; remove cores but do not go all the way through apples.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Reserve 1/3 cup pastry dough. On well floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll out remaining dough into 21 x 14-inch rectangle. With pastry wheel or knife, cut dough into six 7-inch squares.

In cup, with fork, beat egg and 1 teaspoon water. Center an apple on square of dough. Spoon one-sixth of sugar mixture into cavity in apple. Brush edges of square with some egg mixture. Bring points of square up over apple, pinching edges together to seal well.

Repeat with remaining dough squares, apples and sugar mixture. With pancake turner, place dumplings in greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

On floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll out reserved dough 1/4 inch thick. Cut 12 leaves from dough; score with tip of knife to make “veins.” Brush dumplings with some egg mixture; press 2 leaves on top of each dumpling and brush them with egg mixture. Press cloves, rounded-side down, into dumplings to resemble stems. Bake dumplings 35 minutes.

In bowl, with spoon, stir apple cider and maple syrup; pour cider mixture over dumplings. Bake dumplings 15 minutes longer (cover with foil after 3 minutes if dumplings are overbrowning), basting occasionally with cider mixture in baking dish, until pastry is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with skewer.


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