I've rewritten this post thirty times, nearly literally, and have realized the best way to say it, is just to say it. I've been away from Peas Love Carrots because my father passed away, suddenly, early this month. I rushed off to Enid, Oklahoma where he and some of my family live and have just recently returned from there. I thought about not mentioning it on the blog, but well, it felt sort of wrong not to.
I don't intend this to be maudlin in any way. The sadness I feel is mixed with the joy of memories of Dad. Which is how I feel it has to be. The years have been stripped away from thought and I am finding comfort in childhood recollection. After hearing the news he was gone, several memories rushed immediately to mind that have not left it since. One was of his large bristly mustache, which was an eternal source of amusement for me as a little girl. The mustache had a personality all it's own and I would watch with curiosity as he groomed it every day with a little comb that reminded me of the one I used on my Barbie's hair. It would tickle my cheek with every kiss goodnight. It would twitch, Charlie Chaplin-style, whenever he knew I was watching him, just because he knew it would make me laugh. As I would also giggle whenever he ate, as some crumb of food would inevitably get caught up in it in the process.
Just remember to check your mustache, should you have one, for crumbs while rapturously enjoying this... I can nearly guarantee you you will have some.
Recipe: Apple dumplings with cardamom and crème fraîche
What you need to get..
For the dumpling base...
4 Granny Smith or other tart apple, peeled and cored, but keep whole
4 raw flaky biscuit dough rounds (premade and found in cans in refrigerated sections in the US) or 1 sheet puff pastry dough (make it yourself, or buy frozen and thaw)
For the filling...
4 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons golden raisins
2 tablespoons unsalted pistachios (optional)
1 egg, beaten, for sealing/glazing dough
White granulated sugar for dusting dumpling tops
AP flour for rolling biscuit rounds
Unsweetened crème fraîche for serving OR unsweetened whipped cream, or cream lightly sweetened w/honey
What to do with it all...
Preheat oven to 400˚F.
Place peeled/cored apples in a microwave safe dish and microwave on 50% power until fork-tender (5 - 7 minutes for most). You can also bake for 10 - 20 mins at 400˚F lightly covered in tin foil for same results. Once tender, remove to refrigerator to cool.
While your apples are cooling, mix the filling ingredients and set aside.
Roll out each biscuit to about a 7 - 8 inch round (depending on the size of your apples) on a floured surface. Place one apple on each round and fill each with 1/4 of the filling mixture.
Brush beaten egg on dough around apple, then bring up the sides to wrap the apple. Seal and finish with a twist at the top of the apple. Brush outside of dumpling with a little more egg, then dust with white sugar.
Place your sealed dumplings on a baking sheet, and bake for 15 - 18 minutes, or until golden. Serve with crème fraîche and a dusting of cinnamon.