For Pastry: Mix half of the shortening with dry ingredients. Then mix in other half and add ice water. Blend with fork until dough can be pressed together. Divide into 6 equal portions and roll out each separately. Each one should be about 1 7 inch square in order to encase the apple.
For Apple Filling: Place an apple on each pastry square. Fill cavities with sugar, butter, 1/8 tsp. cinnamon and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Add more butter and sugar at top. Moisten points of pastry and bring opposite corners up over apple, sealing well. Place about 2 inches apart in a buttered oblong casserole dish.
For Topping: Prepare syrup of sugar, water, butter, cinnamon and vanilla. Boil together for 3 minutes. Pour around, but not over dumplings. Bake at 425 degrees F for 40-45 minutes. If they seem to be browning too much, turn oven to 375 degrees F for the last 15 or 20 minutes.
By Robin from Washington, IA
This is very similar to the Apple Dumplings that I make for my family & they are WONDERFUL!!! We have apple trees & are constantly looking for another way to make something from them. The greatest is the Apple Dumplings, though. I buy the little pie pans like the pot pies come in (you can wash & reuse the tin pans) & make individual dumplings for eating at any time or as a last minute dessert. Just put each dumpling in one of the tins--or the paper-type one's if you can find them--pour around the syrup & bake as usual. When done, allow to cool, cover with foil, & freeze. To heat put your dumpling in the oven (still covered) at about 350 degrees F. for about 25 minutes or until hot--or transfer the frozen dumpling & sauce to a bowl & nuke til hot. It's always best to uncover & baste once or twice with the sauce toward the end while reheating. It gives the crust a more crispy texture. We also have pecan trees & sometimes I'll chop up some pecans & add them both inside & outside of the dumpling. WONDERFUL!!!
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