Traditional Apple Recipes
Hereford Apple Dumplings
Hereford, on the border between England and Wales, is famous for its apples and cider and its cooks have devised many tasty apple dishes.
Hereford Apple Dumplings must have been one of the earliest surprise puddings. And they are still an interesting choice for a dinner party.
They're pretty to look at and with a filling of sultanas, orange rind and marmalade give off a wonderful smell when you cut them open.
The dumplings are best made with cooking apples, which soften and collapse a little as they bake. The apple flesh merges with the stuffing into a wonderfully fragrant puree inside the crunchy pastry shell.
Serve one apple dumpling per person. This recipe serves four people, but quantities are easily increased.
Feel free to use ready-made short-crust pastry (plain or sweet) if you don't have the time or inclination to make your own.
- 12oz / 300g shortcrust pastry (plain or sweet)
- 4 cooking apples
- 4 teaspoons coarse caster sugar
- grated rind of an orange
- 2oz / 50g sultanas or raisins
- 4 teaspoons marmalade
- sugar and milk for glazing
Heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / gas mark 6.
Peel and core the apples, but leave them whole.
Divide the pastry into four pieces and roll each out into a circle large enough to enclose the apple.
Sprinkle each pastry circle with a teaspoon of caster sugar and set an apple in the middle.
Combine the sultanas or raisins with the grated orange rind and marmalade and use it to fill the centres of the apples.
Dampen the edges of the pastry circles. Gather up the pastry to completely enclose the apple and seal the edges tightly.
Place the dumplings upside down on a greased baking sheet. Decorate with pastry leaves if you're artistic, then brush the dumplings with milk and sprinkle with the sugar.
Bake the dumplings for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180°C / 350°F / gas mark 4 and bake for 30 minutes more. The dumplings should be golden brown when ready.
Serve each on a large plate with custard, cream or warmed marmalade sauce poured around.