Monday, October 1, 2012

Apple Dumplings


We headed to Vermont this weekend for Mike's 50-mile running race through Ascutney's hills. I needed yet another few days to completely heal my body from the beating I took the weekend prior. Since I had a bit of extra time on my hands and inspiration from the smokey fall air and changing leaves, it was time to take on the gluten-free vegan crust and homestyle apple dumplings. I wanted to use vegetable shortening for the crust but did manage to forget this vital ingredient. I had some vegan butter on hand so I went for it hoping all would blend perfectly. I finally discovered the perfect 3 for crust: white rice, sorghum, tapioca flour. It has a wonderfully subtle taste and if you muscle the dough just enough, it comes out flaky, crunchy and almost, dear I say, perfect. I do think I would have had better luck with vegetable shortening but was happy with my final product. Don't be deterred by the dough's resiliency to mold flawlessly into dumpling pockets. I just built the dough up and around my apples. Piecing extra bits of dough around open areas. It truly turned out delicious so don't get discouraged. Gluten-free vegan crust has a personality but can be mastered!


Apple Dumplings
gluten free, nut free, vegan
Serves 4

Crust Recipe

1 cup white rice flour
¼ cup sorghum flour
¼ cup tapioca flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ cup vegan butter
1 Tbsp potato starch
¼ cup cold water (*use sparingly)

Filling

4 cups of diced apples (I like to use 3 different varieties of similar consistency)
       honey crisp
         granny smith
         cortland
3 Tbsp. Vegan butter
¼ cup agave nectar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Topping

1 Tbsp white rice flour
1 tsp sorghum flour
1-2 Tbsp melted vegan butter
1 ½ Tbsp brown sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon

PREHEAT Oven to 375.

Combine all crust ingredients EXCLUDING water. I blend with my hands until crumbly then slowly add in water until the dough can mold into a ball. Knead for a few minutes. Do not stress if the dough does not bind together well. Set in fridge until apple filling is ready.

I like to cook my apples over the stove for a bit before adding them to my dumplings. I always find my dumplings much to watery if I don't pre-cook. First, toss all filling ingredients in a large bowl then pour into a frying pan and cook on low heat. DO NOT overcook apples as this will make for mush. Cook just enough to draw some liquid from the apples.

Grease and flour your glass baking dish (spray a bit of non-stick cooking spray and lightly sprinkle some white rice flour tapping the sides of the dish to remove any excess). Place dough into glass dish and roll out as best you can. This is were you have to show the gluten-free dough who's boss...seperate into four sections and build/push dough into a cup that will hold your apple filling. I scooped apple filling into each cup then built and pressed the dough around more and more of the apples. The dough gave me some trouble but I was able to press enough into place so that it would hold a good sized amount of apples. I also took some of the left over juice and drizzled it into each dumpling. After you complete each dumpling, whisk together your topping. This should be gooey enough where you can simply scoop a spoonful over each dumpling.

Place in the oven for about 30 minutes or until you begin to see browning on the crust.

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