The Apple Dumpling Gang

Playin’ in the kitchen:  If I Had a Boat – Tony Furtado

My mother staunchly observed the rule, “Life’s uncertain, eat dessert first.”  We often had pie, cake, or sugar-coated cereal for breakfast.

Every Sunday night, after dinner and my “beginning-of-the-school-week” bath, my brother and I bundled up in quilts, curled up on the vinyl sofa in the rec room and watched the Disney show.  (Side note: I’m not sure how, but that sofa is still in the rec room, almost 40 years later.  And still heaped with laundry to be folded.)

Whenever the Apple Dumpling Gang played my brother and I would scream, frantically, “MOM!!!  The Apple Dumpling Gang is on!”
And my mother would know to assemble the ingredients and set her alarm clock, because she’d accidentally created a tradition — whenever the Apple Dumpling Gang came on t.v., mom made us apple dumplings for breakfast the next day.

I’m glad they weren’t the Brussels Sprouts Gang.  Or the Mushroom Gang. 

The recipe is from the Meta Givens Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking, copyright 1959.

Grandma's Boiled Apple Dumplings
Serves 6
Boiled apple dumplings, aka "breakfast of champions".
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  1. 1/2 c light brown sugar, packed
  2. 1&1/2 c water
  3. 1/4 c butter
  4. 1/4 tsp salt
  5. 2&1/2 c finely diced tart apples
  1. 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  2. 1 c all-purpose flour
  3. 2 tsp baking powder
  4. 2 Tbsp sugar
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
  6. 1/3 c plus 1Tbsp milk
  1. Measure first 4 ingredients into a 3 qt. saucepan.
  2. Finely dice apples, adding one of the diced apples to the ingredients in the saucepan. Set the rest aside.
  3. Heat to boiling and simmer 5 minutes.
  1. Quickly stir lemon juice into remaining apples.
  2. Sift flour, measure and resift 3 times with baking powder, sugar and salt, the last time into a 2 qt mixing bowl.
  3. All the lemon-apple mixture then milk, and quickly stir to just blend well.
  4. Drop dumplings into syrup -- First dip a dessert spoon into the boiling syrup, then into the dough to fill spoon heaping and drop into syrup. Repeat dipping into syrup then into batter until all dumplings are added.
  5. Boil gently uncovered for 5 min, then cover tightly and boil 15 min longer.
  6. Remove from heat. Lift off cover and let cool a few minutes before serving.
  7. Spoon dumplings into dishes with some of the sauce over them.
  8. Serve warm plain or with cream.
  1. These are excellent with some good fresh cream if you can get your hands on it.
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