Mennonite Apple Dumplings

Mennonite Apple Dumplings


Mennonite Apple Dumplings

Being brought up close to a German Mennonite community in Waterloo County I was shown how the Mennonite farmers live off their land with meagre equipment and no power. They sure know how to grow a garden and orchards.

I used to buy hundreds of bushels of apples from those area farms to make perfect apple pies for  commercial baking and dry storing a good Spy Apple was absolutely necessary to have a supply from season to season.

The Spy Apple originating from The River Spey valley in Scotland is where this apple was first grown and was brought by a settler to Lower Canada in Nova Scotia. It is one of the most flavourful apples for baking because of its moisture content and sugary sweet flesh behind that thick skin. Spy apples hold well in controlled atmosphere environment and still hold good flavour 10 months after being picked.

I love to visit Stewards Heritage Farm here in South Surrey and marvel at the old growth of original trees that are still bearing delicious fruit since they were first planted by the land owner. I was first treated to a Mennonite Apple Dumpling in St Jacobs Ontario at the local farmers market. I could not resist the aroma and the golden brown flaky pastry that this dumpling that had me mesmerised as a kid. I had saved enough money from my paper route to buy anything I wanted from the market and this was it. The lady handed me this dumpling and I quickly buried it with my wide unhindged mouth and took one ginormous bite. The buttery caramel flavoured sweet juices, the addition of raisins, dried cherry pieces and that light pastry suffused my young taste buds. I took a few breaths in between bites leaving nary a crumb of evidence that I even ate one. It was the best 25 cents I ever spent. Over the years I have made these dumplings for church fund raisers and for a home comfort style of dessert for my menus. I must admit that rolling out your favourite flakey crust is the key to making this dessert original. The other ways are buying frozen puff pastry or filo pastry dough from the grocery store. No matter what you use follow the directions and cut into squares big enough to cover the apple.

It’s that simple to get baking;

4 medium spy granny smith, ambrosia, jazz or macs apples.

2 tbs. of golden raisins

2 tbs of dried cherries

2 tbs of brown sugar

2 tbs of butter

2 tbs of fresh powdered cinnamon

1 egg

¼ cup milk

4 x 7 inch by 7 inch thin rolled out sheets of pastry.

1 oz. of maple syrup

1 oz. dark chocolate

Peel and core the 4 apples and cover with a towel.

Use some lemon if browning oxidation occurs.

Have all your ingredients at hand.

Beat the egg and milk and set aside. Line a baking sheet with some parchment paper.

Place a sheet of pastry on a floured surface, place the apple in the centre and put in an equal amount of the raisins and cherries and pack them down.

Put in equal amounts of the sugar and pack down.

Put equal amounts of the butter and pat down and dust with some cinnamon.

Take a corner of the pastry and fold it over the apple brushing the egg wash on the pastry.

Now pull the opposite corner up and overlap.

Pat dough firmly to adhere.

Repeat with the other corners.

Place onto the lined baking sheet and completely paint the pastry ball with the egg wash.

Poke a deep breathing hole in the top for the steam to escape.

Place into a 375 degree heated oven and bake for 30 minutes and then turn temp down to 350 for the last 15 minutes till golden brown.

While it is baking melt the chocolate and mix in the maple syrup for a delicious topping.