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Apple Dumplings and Breakfast Television

Recently, when Lovella and I were in Toronto, Ellen and Paola from Graf-Martin Communications, publicist for our cookbook, took us out to a Mennonite restaurant in Elmira. I so much enjoyed the apple dumplings they served, that Ellen offered to get me her mom's recipe - similar, but made with a cinnamon spice sauce, instead of caramel.  I pretty much followed the recipe but decided to add frozen, chopped rhubbarb, which I had on hand, to the sauce. Either way, I will be making them again!
So this recipe is credit to, Theresa Graf and she is from Nanaimo. She was a home economics teacher for years and was famous for her cooking after having over 55 teenagers live in her home over the years. She says they are best served warm but still good the next day. I agree.
Syrup Ingredients:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 drops red food coloring ( and / or 1 cup chopped rhubarb)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
Pastry and Filling Ingredients:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup cold butter
  • 2/3 - 1 cup milk
  • 3 apples, halved and cored
  • extra sugar and cinnamon, optional
  1. Boil syrup ingredients (except for butter) until sugar dissolves. (Continue boiling about 10 minutes if adding rhubarb and then put the syrup through a strainer.) Stir in butter and let cool.
  2. In medium bowl, mix dry ingredients and then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter OR grate it in, using a coarse cheese grater and mix lightly.
  3. Stir in the milk, using a fork, until dry ingredients are absorbed. Knead gently just until you can shape it.
  4. Shape into a rectangle and roll out on lightly floured surface to about 12 X 18 inches. Cut into six squares, 6 X 6 inches.
  5. On each square place 1/2 apple. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
  6. Fold opposite sides over top, press the ends together, then fold the other sides over and press tops together to make a package.
  7. Place, sides touching, in an appropriate sized baking dish (no greasing required) and pour the syrup over.
  8. Bake at 375 F for 40 - 45 minutes.
  9. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or enjoy the next day with a dollop of whipped cream. Tastes like an apple strudel.

Kathy and Lovella will be in Vancouver this morning at Breakfast TV cooking up a recipe from Celebrations.
Find the link here and watch at 8:20 AM Pacific Time or check back later in the day to see the segment on their website.


  1. Had to chuckle, because home-ec is where I learned to make these, and many other simple dishes I still like, such as stuffed baked apples, "any little girl can" Brownie cake and Gingerbread cake topped with lemon sauce.


    (P.S. Did she really serve the teenagers warm? Tee hee.).

  2. Oh I think I can do this. These look wonderful!

  3. Yum!!! I think that we need to try this dessert out at our next family dinner!

  4. Oh these look delicious Anneliese! Was the restaurant called Crossroads where you had these? I love that you added the rhubarb. I have a rhubarb dumpling recipe that I'll have to blog sometime but this one looks amazing with the apples!! I still use many of my home economics days recipes - they are some of the best!

  5. I made these this evening - just felt like making a dessert "for no reason". I followed your instructions quite carefully and then realized just an hour ago that I forgot to add the butter to the sauce; but not the rhubarb. I even put the syrup through the strainer and then rescued the rhubarb bits by stuffing them into the 6 apple core hollows. This is a great recipe and I will make it again. Thanks for sharing it.

  6. I have been making these for almost 30 years...they are no fail. My son has to have them at every holiday. EVERY holiday! I even made them for our little diner many years ago. They are THE perfect dumpling. The recipe was from our county extension cookbook. Those little ladies know how to cook too! lol


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