Sticky toffee apple dumplings

Swaddle cooking apples in sweet pastry sprinkled with cinnamon for a lovely winter dessert
By Matt Tebbutt
Sticky toffee apple dumplings
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus at least 1 hour chilling time
  • Effort: medium


For the shortcrust pastry

  • 280 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 230 g butter, softened
  • 2 medium egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
  • 115 g icing sugar
  • 1 lemon, finely grated zest only (optional)

For the apple dumplings

  • 4 medium cooking apples, (all of a similar size), peeled and cored
  • 3-4 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar, mixed with 2 tsp ground cinnamon

To serve

  • readymade sticky toffee sauce
  • custard


1. For the pastry: mix the flour and salt together in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the butter, egg yolks, vanilla seeds, icing sugar and lemon zest. Mix together to combine into a dough then roll into a sausage shape, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

2. For the apple dumplings: preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

3. Remove the dough from the fridge and divide into four equal pieces. Roll out each piece on a lightly floured surface to form circles that are large enough to completely encase an apple.

4. Place an apple in the middle of each of the circles and fill the hole in the apple (where the core was) with demerara sugar. Brush the edges of the pastry with the lightly beaten egg wash then bring the edges together and press them firmly together to seal.

5. Turn the apples over and place them, sealed edges down, on the baking tray. If you have any pastry left over then shape it into leaves and use to decorate the top of the apples.

6. Brush each of the apple dumplings with the egg wash then sprinkle with the caster sugar and cinnamon so it sticks to the egg. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the apples inside are soft - cover the dumplings with foil if the pastry is browning too fast.

7. Serve the apple dumplings warm with hot toffee sauce and custard.

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