Caramel and apple are two distinct flavors, yet when combined, they create an indescribable dumpling of goodness. I went ahead and spiced up the classic combo. My experiment didn’t disappoint and I’ve got a happy palate.
Chai-Spiced Salted Caramel Apple Dumplings
Yield: 18 dumplings
Prep time: 50 minutes (includes resting)
Cook time: 20 minutes
For the pastry crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup cold plain greek yogurt
For the filling:
3 cups apples, peeled and diced
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon chai spice, recipe follows
12 store-bought soft caramels, roughly chopped
flaky sea salt
1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
crystal sanding sugar, optional
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1.Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.
2. Add the cubed butter to the bowl and use your fingers to work the butter into the flour until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand.
3. Stir in the greek yogurt, and then turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface.
4. Knead the dough a few times until it comes together, adding more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky to handle. Roll the dough into an 6×8-inch rectangle and dust both sides with flour before folding it into thirds as if you were folding a letter.
5. Rotate the dough 90º and roll it out again into an 6×8-inch rectangle. Fold the dough again into thirds then wrap it securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat baking mat.
7. In a bowl, combine all the filling ingredients together except the caramels, salt, egg wash, and sanding sugar. Set aside.
8. Unfold dough onto a well-floured surface, rolling it out to a 14×14-inch square. Using a 4-inch circular cookie cutter, cut out as many circles as possible. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting out circles until you run out of dough.
9. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the apple filling into the center of each circle, leaving enough of a border around the filling. Top the apple filling with a portion of the chopped caramels and a pinch of sea salt. Fold it in half, creating a semicircle. Seal the pies using a dumpling mold or a fork by crimping the edges together.
10. Brush each pie with the egg wash, and using a sharp knife, cut two or three vents on the top of each pie. Sprinkle the pies with crystal sanding sugar (optional).
11. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the pies are golden brown.
12. Cool on cooling rack, or enjoy warm.
Recipe adapted from Just A Taste