I have many fond childhood memories of Peter’s Tea Room and Baker’s Shop in Weybridge and all the cakes and delicacies are etched in my memory. One such treat I remember seeing in the window and occasionally having at home was their Apple Dumplings. Louise Johncox has recreated her father Peter’s recipes in her book The Baker’s Daughter which I used as the basis for my inspiration but I then went completely off piste and did my own thing. As half my family just don’t like dried fruit I couldn’t go down that route so decided that some homemade marzipan would be a fabulous core for these apple dumplings. For my first attempt I tried using a sheet of ready rolled pastry which didn’t really work as you need a square of pastry and not a rectangle, plus I tried trimming off excess pastry but this just lead to the pastry splaying open and leaving gaps on the finished product, oh and I didn’t let the pastry rest in the fridge! I also left the skin on the apples which resulted in my apples imploding to mush so although it all tasted good it lacked curb appeal. In all it felt like my first driving test, you get all your mistakes over and done with in one go and then you know what not to do the second time, I’m happy to say I passed my driving test 2nd time and also succeeded in making these gorgeous Apple & Marzipan Dumplings 2nd time!.
If you don’t have any ground almonds to hand don’t buy them just whizz up some almonds or flaked almonds like I did. On my first attempt I used ground almonds but I think the marzipan tasted even better when using freshly ground almonds (I use my herb chopper attachment from my stick blender).
I’m pleased to say everyone loved my Apple and Marzipan Dumplings – even my son who had turned his nose up at my first attempt and doesn’t really like marzipan! Gosh it’s difficult sometimes catering to everyone’s likes and dislikes isn’t it. Luckily I often win the taste battle as kids in particular can have preconceived ideas about what they will and won’t like. I just say “try it and if you don’t like it you don’t have to eat it”. Once they’ve had the first taste an empty bowl usually ensues!
Do you have a childhood memory of a treat that you’ve yet to bake? Do let me know in the comments.
- 4 Dessert apples (small) I used Gala
- 1 Pack of Puff Pastry (500g)
- For marzipan filling:
- 30g Ground Almonds (I ground my own)
- 30g Icing Sugar
- 1 ½ to 2 tsp Egg white (taken from egg for egg wash)
- 1 Egg, whisked for egg wash
- Caster sugar for sprinkling
- Mix the ground almonds, icing sugar and egg white together to form the marzipan paste. (Whisking the egg white will make it easier to measure out).
- Cut off 425g of pastry from the block and roll out to a 36cm square on a floured surface, trim and cut into 4 x 18cm squares.
- Peel and core the first apple and stuff with a ¼ of the marzipan (you can do this from the top and bottom). Doing one at a time will prevent the apples from going brown.
- Place the apple in the centre of one of the squares.
- Brush a little water on the outer edges of the pastry and draw up one corner to meet the middle, then do the same with the next corner sealing and tucking in the pastry as you go following your way round in one direction until you reach the end.
- Repeat above with the next 3 apples.
- To decorate, roll out the pastry trimmings and cut straight lines down and diagonally across to make diamond shapes and score with a knife to make them look like leaves. You need 16.
- Using the apple corer cut out 4 circles.
- Decorate the apple dumplings with the leaves using a little water to seal and finish with a little circle of pastry on top.
- Place on a lightly greased baking tray and pop in fridge for 20 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 190⁰C.
- Brush the apple dumplings with egg wash and sprinkle with caster sugar.
- Place in the middle of oven for 40 minutes turning halfway through.
- Serve hot with cream, ice cream or custard.
- Can also be reheated if needed later (about 15 – 20 mins at 150C⁰).
For more apple or marzipan dessert inspiration you might like:
I am I’m entering my Apple & Marzipan Dumplings into the following challenges this month:
No Waste Food Challenge run by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary as I used up some almonds that might have gone to waste + with the leftover pasty I made 5 mini quiches which hubby and I had for lunch!
Bookmarked Recipes from Tinned Tomatoes as this recipes was inspired by a book.
Credit Crunch Munch which I run with Fuss Free Flavours and currently hosted by Utterly Scrummy Food for Families as the ingredients are all quite basic and inexpensive.
Why not pin for later?