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Farmhouse Kitchen Recipe: Athol Orchards Apple Dumplings

In America’s early history, farmers and bakers took the time to make beautiful food in the name of highlighting a prized harvest during a time when food wasn’t easy to come by. In this case, apples. During the 18th century, one such traditional treat was the New England Apple Dumpling. Having studied Colonial history and it’s intimate relationship with apples, Nikki celebrates and shares these traditional apple desserts with her own authentic spin.

Serves: 6-8

Prep time: 1 hour

Cook time: 20-30 minutes


6-8 small Cortland or Honeycrisp Apples ( or other baking apple ) peeled, and cored Your favorite pie pastry recipe, chilled

Jar of Athol Orchards Apple Cider Caramel

Egg White/ Heavy Cream wash ( 2 egg whites and equal parts heavy cream or 1/2 & 1/2)

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

8 ounce bottle of Athol Orchards Apple Cider Syrup ( or Hot if you’re adventurous!)


1. Preheat oven to 450°F
2. Peel and core your apples. Make sure you are using a good baking variety so the apple holds its shape inside the dumpling.
3. Roll out your chilled pastry recipe to 1/4” thickness and cut into 6 inch squares. I like to use a crimped pastry cutter for a decorative edge.
4. Blend the 1 C of sugar and 2 TSP of cinnamon in a medium sized bowl and coat your peeled apples in this mixture.
5. Place each apple in the center of your cut pastry squares. Add a dollop ( approx. 1 tablespoon) of Athol Orchards Apple Cider Caramel into the center of each apple. Try to press it down into the apple a bit.
6. Using a pastry brush, apply your egg wash around the edges of each pastry square. 7. Bring each corner up to meet at the top, carefully pressing together each seam all the way up to the top. Make sure there is no extra space around the apple – press the pastry as close to the apple as you can. This will prevent the pastry from slouching during the baking process.
8. Using a paring knife or small leaf shaped cookie cutter, cut out some decorative leave shapes to add to the top of each apple dumpling. Secure it first with a little brush of the egg wash and then place it on the top.
9. Carefully place each dumpling onto a pan lined with parchment paper.
10. Using your pastry brush once again, apply the egg wash onto each dumpling and then sprinkle the top of each with a generous dusting of sugar.
11. Bake at 450°F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and continue baking for another 20-25 minutes or when pastry is golden brown.
12. Serve warm with a drizzle of Athol Orchards Apple Cider Syrup and a scoop of good vanilla bean ice cream!

Main Apple Dumpling photo credit: Ben Norwood

Purchase Athol Orchards Apple Cider Syrup here:

Purchase Athol Orchards Apple Cider Caramel here:

Athol Orchards Mission: “Growing History One Apple At A Time”❤️

Pre-Order the FarmMade Cookbook

You can find this recipe in The FarmMade Cookbook (order now!). A time capsule of food, craft, and tradition, The FarmMade Cookbook shares seventy-five multi-generational recipes from farms all over the country. Hailing from New England, the Deep South, the Midwest, Southwest, and Northwest, each authentic farm-made recipe represents its region’s unique farming culture. Recipes are paired with each farm’s unique story of resilience and connection with the land, resulting in a tangible agrarian gift to us all.

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