Our cookbook project, the Maine Community Cookbook, Volume 2, comes out later this spring, but in the meantime, we have a special sneak peek for friends of the farm! This family recipe for Apple Dumplings was contributed to the forthcoming book, by Kathleen Webster, of Auburn. In an essay on the history of molasses in New England cookery, food historian Sandy Oliver notes that apple dumplings were traditionally served with molasses whipped cream. We’ve been enjoying the two together all season!
Sauce: 2 cups water 1 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1/4 cup margarine Dumplings: 2 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup shortening 1/2 cup milk 3-4 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into thick slices
To make the sauce: Combine water, sugar, spices, and margarine in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
To make the dumplings: In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt, and cut in the shortening. Sprinkle milk over the top, and toss lightly with a fork to make a dough. You may need to knead a little with your hands to bring the dough together. On a floured surface, roll out the dough and cut into squares. Place a slice of apple in the center of each square and shape each dumpling into a ball. Place the dumplings in a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish and pour sauce over them. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serves 12.
Molasses Whipped Cream
In a medium size bowl, use an electric mixer to whip 1 cup of cream until soft peaks form. Pour in 1-2 tablespoon of molasses and whip until just incorporated—make sure you don’t overbeat, or you’ll make molasses butter! Taste, and add more molasses, if desired. Dollop on top of warm apple dumplings.