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Category: Desserts

Dumplings with medjool dates and maple sauce

Dumplings with medjool dates and maple sauce
Los Angeles Times

Wenatchee, Wash. Walk into the gift shop of the Washington State Apple Commission, and you see red. Just about everything carries a Red Delicious motif. There are Red Delicious postcards, Red Delicious doormats, Red Delicious T-shirts, even images of Red ... Read more

Total time: 2 1/2 hours | Serves 8
Note: From "Tom Douglas' Seattle Kitchen (William Morrow, 2000).

Date butter

  • 9 large medjool or other dates (about 6 ounces), pitted and chopped
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Step 1Combine the dates, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a food processor or mixer. Process until smooth. Remove the date butter to a small bowl and refrigerate until somewhat firm.

Pastry dough

  • 3 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into bits
  • 9-12 tablespoons ice water

Step 1Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to mix. Add the cold butter all at once and pulse a few times until the butter and flour form crumbs. Start adding ice water, a tablespoon at a time, pulsing each time. Use as much water as needed for the dough to hold together when a clump is gently pressed between your fingers. The dough will be quite loose in the processor. Dump the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Gather the dough together using the plastic wrap and force it into a flattened round. Chill the dough an hour or longer before rolling out.

Apple dumplings

  • Pastry dough
  • Flour, for rolling
  • 4 Granny Smith apples (about 7 ounces each) peeled, and halved lengthwise
  • Apple butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Step 1Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Set out a small bowl of water and a pastry brush. Divide the pastry dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half the dough about 1/8-inch thick into a rough square shape. Trim the dough to make a 12-inch square; set the trimmings aside. Cut the square into 4 (6-inch) squares. Take each square and make a cut from each corner halfway to the center of the square. Repeat with the second half of the dough. You will have 8 (6-inch) squares.

Step 2Use a melon baller to remove the core of each apple half. Fill the cavity of each apple half with a mound of the date butter. Place each apple half, core side down, on the center of a dough square. Brush the corners of the dough lightly with water. Fold each corner into the center and press together to seal. Place the dumplings on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Step 3Reroll the pastry trimmings, if you'd like, and cut out 8 leaves using a small knife or cutter. Place one on each dumpling, fixing it on with a brush dipped in a little water.

Step 4Beat the egg yolk lightly with the cream. Brush each dumpling with egg wash. In another small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle 1 or 2 teaspoons on each dumpling. Bake the dumplings until the pastry is golden and the apples feel tender when pierced with a knife, about 25 minutes; rotate the baking sheet halfway through. Place the dumplings on plates and spoon warm maple sauce over and around them.

Maple sauce

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold

Step 1Bring the water and cinnamon stick to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat.

Step 2Combine the brown sugar and the cornstarch in a small bowl and add to the boiling water. Lower the heat and simmer, whisking occasionally until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the syrup and butter, stirring until the butter melts. Remove the cinnamon stick before serving. Serve warm.

Each serving:
875 calories; 463 mg. sodium; 149 mg. cholesterol; 47 grams fat; 28 grams saturated fat; 113 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 6.29 grams fiber.
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