Nothing screams Pennsylvania Dutch warm-weather cooking than a good, old-fashioned apple dumpling. This recipe is so rich and decadent, you don’t even need the ice cream. Maybe a little whipped cream or some warm milk would be a nice addition. This is certainly a tailgating or potluck dish that requires a few hours of prep work from home but can be easily heated at your favorite sports location. It is a little time consuming but worth every bite!

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Apple Dumplings With Flakey Pastry
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes to an hour

Difficulty Level: Medium
Yield: 12-13 apple dumplings


  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 and three-fourths cups butter-flavored Crisco
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • half cup water


In a large bowl, mix the first four ingredients together until crumbly. In a separate bowl, add vinegar, egg and water and then mix well again. Compine the two bowls of ingredients together.

Take a handful of dough about the size of a golf ball and roll out like a pie. Use enough dough to wrap around one apple. Flour generously while rolling.

Core and peel apples and place in the middle of dough. In place of where you cored the apple, add 1 tbsp. brown sugar, 1 tsp. butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Wrap the apple until completely covered. This should make about 12-13 apple dumplings depending on the size of the apples. I usually use a 9 x 12 baking dish and spray it with buttered-flavored Pam.

The best apples to use are Cortland or Gala apples.

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  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 cups brown sugar

Mix together in large saucepan and then add

  • 3 cups water
  • 6 tbsp. butter

Bring to a boil and boil until it thickens, which is about five minutes. Pour the syrup over the apples in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes or when poked with knife it goes through the apple.

Bring the apples to a tailgate or potluck and serve each in a bowl with a spoon or fork. Enjoy!

(This recipe was provided to me by my amazing chef and stepmother, Janice Hepler Snyder.)

And it’s not a tailgate without chili! Here’s our awesome recipe.

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Cassie Hepler is a freelance writer covering all things Philadelphia. Her work can be found on