Apple Dumplings Recipe

I began helping my grandma with this recipe when I was about 5 years old. It started me on a lifelong enjoyment of baking.

This recipe is for old fashioned apple dumplings recipe, popular in Northern Indiana in the the first half of the 20th century, and probably earlier.


  • About 6 apples, more or less. It depends on how big the apples, and how thin you roll the pie dough
  • 3 cups flour1
  • 1.25 cup shortening2
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional, I usually omit)
  • Ice water, a few tablespoons, as needed


There are only two elements in this simple recipe–the apples and the pie dough.

  1. Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the seeds/core. A potato peeler works well in peeling the apples. Try a small paring knife for the halving and coring.
  2. Grease and flour your pan with a bit of extra shortning and flour. Set it aside.
  3. Make the pie crust / dough. See pie crust for a complete description.
  4. Roll out the pie dough using about half the amount in this recipe. The thickness should be about the same as for ordinary pie crust / dough.
  5. Cut the rolled out pie dough into about any shape you like (square, triangle, etc.) in an area you can use to cover on apple (both halves)
  6. Put two apple halves together. Put a section of cut dough around them, and seal the apple in the dough, by gently molding with your hands. Add another piece, if you are little short on dough.
  7. Put this dumpling in the pan. Repeat until you run out of apples and/or pie dough. Or add more, as needed.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown. About 50 minutes to an hour.3
  9. SERVING: I prefer apple dumplings, either warm or cold, with milk and sugar. This is the way my parents and grandparents ate them. My wife and some of my children prefer the dumplings warm, with ice cream on top. Or they taste good alone, either warm or cold.

Culinary TraditionUSA, midwest, circa first half of 20th Century
My Rating (out of 5 stars)


  1. plus a little extra to “dust” the rolling surface and the baking pan
  2. plus a little extra to grease the baking pan
  3. I never had an oven on which the temperature settings were very accurate. Keep on eye on your apple dumplings as they bake. The color is more important than the time.

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