Fruit dumplings are nostalgic, home-style desserts that you rarely see on menus any more. They require a few more steps than a pie, cookies or cakes…maybe that’s what caused them to go out of style. Hand-pies seem to be the food fashion trend of the moment. What made hand pies become fashionable instead of dumplings? I’m confused, because dumplings are basically a hand pie baked in syrup.
Maybe it’s just the word “dumpling” that people have moved away from. Asian style dumplings seem to be the exception… those dumplings are deliciously trendy. But old fashioned European style dumpling dishes, such as chicken and dumplings, seem to be presented sheepishly, as if they lack any impressive element other than their comforting deliciousness. Now we eat gnocci and pasta (same ingredients as a dumpling) and mini-pies and mini-galletes (same as a pie or fruit dumpling.) Hmm…
I’ll admit, when I hear the word “dumpling” I think “plump.” Globally, we are all trying to eat healthier, but I believe we have translated our comfort food temptations into foreign sounding words that boost our self-esteem. Eating gnocci sounds like a fancy life style. Eating dumplings sounds like an acceptance of stretchy pants as your go-to fashion statement.
Going Bananas over Peach Dumplings
Dumplings are more of a winter dish, but right now peaches are in season, and I have really been enjoying preparing peaches as many ways as possible. I used to eat a lot more fruit dumplings when I was a kid, so I thought I would resurrect this favorite and share. I will probably revisit this dessert in the fall, possibly with apples and herbs.
So in this recipe post, I declare and embrace my inner dumpling love. You should too. Stretchy pants be damned.Print
Brown Sugar Peach Dumplings with Cinnamon Syrup
- Prep Time: 30 min
- Cook Time: 60 min
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 8 Servings
- Category: Baking
- Cuisine: USA
2 cups all-purpose flour (240gr)
12 tbsp. butter, chilled (168 gr)
Pinch of salt
2-4 tbsp. ice cold water (30ml-60 ml)
2.25 lbs. fresh peaches, peeled and pits removed (1 kg – about 4 cups of fruit)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup granulated sugar (66 gr)
8 teaspoon sized pats of butter (5 gr each, 40 gr total)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon (2 gr)
2 cups brown sugar, packed (400 gr)
3/4 cup water (180 ml)
2 sticks whole cinnamon
To make the crust: Using a pastry stirrup cutter, cut together the butter, flour and salt until the mixture looks mealy, with crumbs the size of peas. Add the water a bit at a time, adding just enough so that the mixture can be gathered into a cohesive ball. (You can also use a food processor, but be careful not to over process the dough, as it will toughen the crust. Simply pulse together the flour salt and butter, and then pulse in the water briefly.) Wrap the ball of dough in waxed paper, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the peaches by washing, peeling and removing the pits. The fruit should be cut into large slices or chunks. Place the fruit in a bowl, and add the lemon juice and ground cinnamon. Stir together well.
Heat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Remove the dough from the fridge and divide into 8-9* equal pieces. Roll out each piece into an oval shape on a floured surface. Place a large spoonful of the fruit onto the square. Sprinkle over a bit of the sugar, and place a pat of butter on top of the fruit. Dust with cinnamon.
Form into a square dumpling by first folding the narrow sides of the oval in towards the center over the fruit, and then folding the long sides over the top. Flip the dumpling over so that the seams of the dumpling are underneath. Place in the baking pan lined with parchment paper, and shape all the dumplings in this fashion. Pierce the top of each dumpling with a knife.
Place the dumplings in the oven for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the syrup by combining the brown sugar with the water and cinnamon sticks in a medium sized saucepan. Heat over a medium flame until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Once the dumplings have baked for 30 minutes, remove the pan from the oven, and pour the syrup over the top of the dumplings. Return the pan to the oven, and bake for another 30 minutes.
Remove the dumplings from the oven, and allow to cool before serving.
*My pan was a 9.5″ x 7.5″ (24cm x 19cm) rectangle shape, so I made 8 dumplings, so the dumplings would fit well. If you are using a 9″x 9″ (23 cm x 23 cm) baking pan, you should divide your dough and dumpling ingredients into 9 portions, and proceed with the recipe as directed.