Boiled Apple Dumplings. Time, to boil, one hour. Eight apples and some suet crust. Pare and core eight fine apples, and cut them in to quarters. Roll a nice suet crust half an inch thick, cut it into round pieces, and lay in the centre of each piece as many pieces of apple as it will contain. Gather the edges up, and pinch them together over the apple. When all the dumplings are made, drop them into a saucepan of boiling water, and let them boil gently for nearly or quite an hour, then take each one carefully out with a skimmer, place them all on a dish, and serve them quickly with butter, sugar and nutmeg. To be eaten cut open, and the butter and sugar put into them. Baked Apple Dumplings. Time, three-quarters of an hour. Some baking apples; white of eggs; some pounded sugar; puff paste. Make some puff paste, roll it thin, and cut it into square pieces, roll one apple into each piece, put them into a baking dish, brush them with the white of an egg beaten stiff, and sift pounded sugar over them. Put them in a gentle oven to bake.
Mary Jewry, Warne’s Model Cookery and House-Keeping (1879)
Two quite different interpretations on an ‘apple dumpling’ there. The first is the more traditional: a parcel of apple slices wrapped in suet pastry and boiled until done. I do like the sound of the nutmeg flavoured, sugar sweetened, butter sauce as well; very autumnal.
The second version sounds more like an apple fritter to me – although I suppose by definition a fritter needs to be fried – or perhaps an apple turnover? Baked puff pastry with an apple filling; probably still quite tasty, although lacking in spices, but I expect it would be a bit drier and probably less satisfying in the stick-to-your-ribs department.
Both recipes seem simple enough to try though. If you decide to give them a go, then as always please do let me know. Leave a comment below, or feel free to email me with your notes and photos.