Of all the desserts made and enjoyed in this country, the all-time favorite, hands down, is the simple, basic apple pie. This dessert has long had the reputation of representing home, comfort and good food. Of course, apple pie isn't complete with some sort of topping. Ice cream always goes well with hot apple pie to make it "a la mode". Another classic touch is to serve it with a chunk of sharp Cheddar cheese. It's comfort food at it's finest!
The recipe I'm passing along combines both the apples and cheese, but not in pie form. Instead, these are dumplings! "Cheese Apple Dumplings" uses whole apples that are surrounded by a cheese pastry crust. While they bake, you make a sauce to go over them when they come from the oven and more cheese is sprinkled over the top. It's a divine and luscious combination that you can't go wrong with!
As I've mentioned in recipes that call for apples, make sure that for baking, you choose an apple designed for baking. The Granny Smith is the most common and easiest to find apple for baking, but other good baking apples include the York Imperial and Rome varieties. Some varieties, such as the Red Delicious, are fine for eating raw out of hand or using in a salad. However, they won't hold up well in cooking, as they end up mushy and tasteless.
The recipe is easy to do and the taste will remind you of apple pie, so any fan of apple pie with cheese will love having this recipe. While these apples are perfectly delicious as they are, you could serve some vanilla ice cream along with them, if you want to fully indulge! This will taste especially good on a cold, winter's night
I shared a very special "French Apple Pie" recipe last fall that bears repeating, since we're on the topic of apples. In case you missed it before, here's the link:
Serve this to people you know who enjoy apple pie and cheese and you may stampeded for this recipe!
CHEESE APPLE DUMPLINGS
- 6 medium baking apples
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1-1/2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
- 6 tablespoons cold water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Peel and core the apples and set aside. Mix the flour and salt. With a pastry cutter, a fork or two knives, cut in the shortening until the mixture is fairly coarse. Add the cheese and toss with a fork until mixed. Sprinkle on the cold water by the tablespoon, mixing as it's added to form a dough. Roll out dough on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out circles of pastry large enough to cover apples. Mix the sugar and cinnamon. Place an apple in the center of a round of pastry and fill center of apple with some of the sugar-cinnamon mixture, dividing it evenly among the apples. Wrap pastry around the apple and cover it completely. Place in a shallow baking dish, about 10x6 inches. Repeat with remaining apples. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until pastry is brown and apple tests done by inserting a fork inside of one.
While the apples bake, prepare the following sauce:
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon butter
Place ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until slightly thickened. Pour over warm dumplings and top with additional grated Cheddar cheese. Serve warm. Yield: 6 servings.