Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, September 12, 1912:  Wish some good kind soul would tell me what to write.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma, you should have written about the everyday things that you did. . . The things that seemed too boring and mundane to put into the diary. For example, you could have told us what you had for supper.

It’s the peak of the apple season—Did you have apples for supper? Maybe old-fashioned apple dumplings. . . .

Apple Dumplings

Pastry for 9 inch two-crust pie

9 tart baking apples, peeled and quartered

cinnamon

2 cups brown sugar (packed)

1 cup water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare pastry as directed except roll 1/3 of dough into large rectangle; cut into 3 smaller rectangles. Put 4 apples quarters (1 apple) in each rectangle. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Moisten corners of each square with water; bring 2 opposite corners of pastry up over apple and press together. Fold in sides of remaining corners (as if wrapping a package); bring corners up over apple and press together. Repeat with remaining dough and apples. Place dumplings in ungreased 12 X 8  X 3 inch or similarly sized baking dish.

In a saucepan heat brown sugar and water to boiling; carefully pour around and over dumplings. Bake 40 minutes or until crust is golden and apples are tender. Serve warm or cool. If desired, serve with milk.

Yield: 9 servings

30 Responses

  1. The power of suggestion… I have an uncontrollable urge to make apple dumplings. A perfect celebration into fall. And you are right Sheryl, what sounds mundane today will be a treat for future generations.

  2. You have to love this diary entry Sheryl…a blank slate, or carte blanche :-)

  3. you are right — it is the everyday stuff of life that I find interesting and this yummy looking recipe is a bonus

  4. I reckon that this a lesson for all of us Sheryl. i.e. what is boring & mundane to us will not be for our descendants 100 years from now :-)

  5. It is time to think of cooking with apples. Thanks for this yummy post.

  6. I rather expect that “writing” was expected to be about “sublime” and “unique” things one hundred years ago…with elevated language. YOu can tell that by the poetry of the time and comparing it with today’s poetry. Using plain every day languge and writing about things as they are is rather a modern concept in writing… And after a full day of farm chores I suspect it was difficult for your Grandmother to find something of that elevated nature. That’s one of the blessings of today’s writing, I think.

    • That makes a lot of sense. It seemed like she wanted to write about “important” things–yet nothing of importance seemed to happen on some days.

  7. I was thinking the same thing – it would have been interesting to even hear what she had for dinner, how her day went at school, her friends, etc…But I think her granddaughter is doing a good job of filling in the blanks. Time to look around and see who is selling apple dumplings!! Blessings~Patty

  8. I have fun filling in the blanks. :)

  9. mmmmmm, I wish I had one of those right now. It’s hard not to snack at 1:14 am

  10. Warm memories here–I loved apple dumplings.The ones we got at the West Shore farmer’s market had a little nugget of solid cinnamon at the bottom, inside. Like a treasure.

  11. Love apple dumplings, especially when visiting Pennsylvania Dutch country.

  12. I love you ranting to your grandmother about what to write. It won’t do any good now, but I enjoy your frustration with her lack of details.

  13. I think that I will make apple dumplings soon. I have made a lot of pies but no dumplings, ever. I think I will start a journal where I just do a sentence or two before bed about mundane things. You are an inspiration. You and your grandmother.

    • That’s a wonderful idea. I’m trying to learn how to look at things through a different lens. Even things that seem mundane are interesting, if I think a little more deeply about them.

  14. oh, I just read about keeping the times straight. When I am deep into research and trying to figure out what is happening with some ancestor or friend of an ancestor, I get mixed up too.

  15. Sorry, I keep thinking of more things. Once I was working with my own old journals and that was really bad – keeping the times seperate I mean.

  16. [...] Old-fashioned Apple Dumplings [...]

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