I don't believe I've made my Mother's recipe for Apple Dumplings in exactly ten years. My memory of the date I cooked any given thing is not so keen as that would appear---I remember that it was the year after her death, and we had all gathered back at the family home for Thanksgiving. Daddy had called us all and said that he had sold the house, and he'd be back in town for a wedding that weekend, so if we wanted anything out of the house, we needed to get a truck and come on down.
And so we gathered, the ten of us, and packed and remembered, losing time and work in the reminiscences, and the stories attached to many of the things of our upbringings. My sister's son is a chef, so he and I cooked the Thanksgiving dinner, sort of long distance, with my bringing a lot of the ingredients and several dishes already made and in coolers, the five hundred miles down the Interstate. We stood at the same stove, on the same gold-patterned linoleum on which which I'd stood to bake and stir and fry all those years that I lived there.
This recipe is just as written down for me by DS #2, who has made this old standard for our Christmas Dinner for a long time, now; I had made it before, and had it memorized, but that’s faded and I wanted the exact measurements.
Way back then, in that old familiar kitchen, with its Brady-orange countertops and copper EVERYTHING, I dictated quickly to the young chef:
“Make a Simple---1/3 white, 1/3 brown. Melt stick of butter in pan. Peel, quarter, wrap, pour, 350, 35/45.” And his chef’s training took over. He made a lovely pan that we enjoyed one last time around that familiar table, all of us together under their roof for a final Thanksgiving before the house belonged to other people, other traditions.
Mother’s Recipe, written down for me by my son, who makes them for all our occasions:
Granny Smith Apples---4
2 packs Pillsbury Rolls---Pack makes 8
Brown sugar 1/3 cup Sugar 1/3 cup
Stick of Butter
Water or Cider
Melt stick of butter in 9x13 Corning ware pan. Core and peel Granny Smiths in 1/4th. Wrap and pull rolls around ¼ of apple.
Place in pan. *Evenly Sprinkle brown sugar and reg. Sugar over top of Dumplings. Take a spoon and drizzle a little water over each one. Bake on 350 for 35 to 45 minutes until golden brown. You can pour about a cup of cider or apple juice into the bottom of the pan to make the syrup and it will thicken around the bottoms of the rolls.
I also found myself mangling a pack of the rolls a few days ago. I am accustomed to popping the can, peeling it off, then taking hold of the dough cylinder with both hands and giving it a little twist to separate the two rolls of four each, top and bottom.
But this one frayed and stuck, and little ends and twirls fell away; I had not noticed that they're now making a pack of SIX, and so they don't let go in the middle any more. I sorta patchworked them back together, and made cinnamon rolls for our breakfast. They didn't look so bad, under all that creamcheese icing.
I think I WILL try the dumplings with the six-packs---cutting the apples into thirds and wrapping should make for a nice-size serving, but I think I'd have to increase the baking time a bit.
They're easy for breakfast, for sliding into the oven as you sit down to dinner, or just for a nice interlude, maybe with a pot of tea or coffee, as you watch the snow fall.