Apple dumplings

October 1, 2010  •  Category:


One of the most memorable desserts that I have tasted during my  years in Texas has to be apple dumpling.

It seems like this year we got blessed with an even bigger bounty of apples. I wanted  some apple dumplings, stuffed with a dollop of Lebanese fig jam studded with walnuts, sesame and redolent of anise and mastic.


For the crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of softened butter
  • 1 egg yolk (from a large egg)
  • 1 or 2 Tablespoons of cream
  • 3/4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla or rose water or orange blossom water

For the apples:

  • 9 small apples of similar size
  • 9 tablespoons of fig jam
  • 9 pats of unsalted butter

To decorate: two egg yolks, beaten lightly

  1. First step: Peel and core the apples (try to leave the bottom 1/4 inch closed)
  2. Stuff the opening with a tablespoon of fig jam and additional chopped walnuts if desired
  3. Place a tablespoon of butter on top of each apple; set the apples on a piece of foil in a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, until the apples are soft. Remove from the oven and cool.

For the crust:

  • Place the flour and powdered sugar and dash of salt in the bowl of a food processor. Run the machine 30 seconds till mixed well.
  • Add the butter, cut in large chunks and process for a few seconds until the flour and butter look well mixed. Add the egg yolk and, if still dry, one tablespoon of cream (or two); when the dough starts to clump, stop the machine, gather into a ball, wrap in paper or plastic and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. (The dough can be frozen for two weeks).


  1. Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper. Get it as thin as possible (about 1/8 inch or 2 mm);
  2. Remove the top layer of paper, lay an apple on the dough, cut a circle around the apple, wide enough to come up to the sides. Seal the dough, rolling it between the palms of your hand until smoothed out.
  3. Do the same for all the apples, and when they are all covered, roll out scraps of dough to make the leaves. Place the leaves on the apples and score them with a knife  to simulate real veins.
  4. Beat the egg yolks lightly in a small bowl and brush onto the apples all over if possible, in order to give them a nice sheen.
  5. Bake at 375F for about 20 to 30 minutes. Cool a bit. Insert a real apple stem in the dumplings and serve.

Recipe for the crust was adapted from Anahid’s Cookbook of Gourmet Cooking

Lebanese fig jam is sold at middle-eastern groceries; however, making your own with dried figs is easy and rewarding.


67 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Katerina says:

    I always say that Americans know how to make apple pies. You anaged to combine this knowledge with your mother country’s flavors. That’s waht fusion is all about.

  2. Miriam says:

    This is a dessert originating in Central Europe, isn’t it? At least I have a German cookbook that features a nearly identical recipe. I want to make this!

  3. Rosa says:

    They look lovely! What a great filling.



  4. peter says:

    Now isn’t this the prettiest thing to appear in the blogosphere todaY? These must be made…tis the season!

  5. joudie kalla says:

    Joumana, this looks incredible. Yumm! I love apples, figs, pastry. Everything about this looks perfect!

  6. Mary says:

    I’ve never made an apple dumpling, but I love fig jam, so I might have to give this a try.
    It looks fabulous.

  7. Bria @ WestofPersia says:

    Beautiful and creative, Joumana. Nice work. Love the addition of the figs. Figs and apples are indeed a killer combo–in a good way. Have a great weekend, dear!

  8. Fendi says:

    LOOKS DELICIOUS! I will definitely try it !!

  9. Patricia Scarpin says:

    I made this with pears once, for a dinner with friends, and they loved it! I’m so trying this apple version – looks amazing!

  10. Sridevi says:

    Nice and beautiful recipe…Children would love it.

  11. deana says:

    I always think of dumplings as something boiled. This is a such a great looking dessert…love the addition of the fig jam!

  12. The Nervous Cook says:

    This is absolutely my idea of heaven. That is one of the most beautiful and delicious-looking things I’ve ever seen! I can’t wait to try it.

  13. TheKitchenWitch says:

    I wouldn’t have thought to add the jam? What a great idea!

  14. Heavenly Housewife says:

    This looks absolutely fabulous, incredibly delicious. Great step by step instructions.
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead.
    *kisses* HH

  15. Sara says:

    Joumana what a wonderful apple dumpling recipe with fig jam! love the Lebanese touch!:)
    Happy Autumn! 🙂

  16. Pauline says:

    Baked apples in pastry ! What a great idea and one I’d never heard of before.

  17. Antonella says:

    Now I know why the guy on the Munch’s picture is desperately screaming:
    someone told him:” I’m sorry but Joumana’s apple dumplings are just finished!” 🙂

  18. A Canadian Foodie says:

    There is a similar recipe in the Balkans… without the dough… but this is STUNNING. and it is the season here. GORGEOUS. and thank you for the step by step!

  19. Susan says:

    I loved the apple dumplings that I made recently with dates and nuts and I can imagine how wonderful they are with figs as well! Yours are beautiful!

  20. Sushma Mallya says:

    It looks so cute, love the pic and the dish…

  21. Ivy says:

    Joumana, this dessert sounds amazing and will surely make it soon.

  22. Nadia says:

    There’s nothing like apple season. Love this and the surprise of the fig jam is wonderful!

    I love how you recreated the apple shape and leaves with the puff pastry!

  23. Barbara says:

    You did an exquisite job, Joumana! You’ve taken an apple dish and turned it into something really special. And I love the way you finished it! Adorable!

  24. Adelina says:

    I want to meet you so bad and have a party and cooking feast together…. maybe throw in some Nancy Ajram music and belly dance – lol. love your creations!!!! your recipe looks so much fun to make!

  25. Nirmala says:

    What a lovely blog. Apples are in season now so I’ll be trying this recipe too. So many recipes not enough time to make them all!

  26. Anna says:

    This is so good! wow! I love apples and apple pies. I bookmark this recipe and try it soon! thanks, Anna.

  27. Joanne says:

    I love warm apple anything so this is right up my alley! That filling inside sounds divine.

  28. Karen says:

    Oh my goodness! This looks amazing. Definitely need to try this. I love that not only are they stuffed, but also wrapped in pastry. Yum!

  29. Faith says:

    I love your ability to combine the food from the US and Lebanon. It really is a gift, Joumana! These dumplings stuffed with fig jam sound fantastic!

  30. Eva says:

    I willm make this. It’s very interesting.

  31. Anita says:

    Looks so good, probably was amazing with a cup of coffee.

  32. Tom @ Tall Clover says:

    Joumana, I believe this is the best apple dumpling recipe I’ve ever seen. I’m picking apples this weekend and they have a date with some fig jam and sweet crust. Thanks!

  33. RANOUZA says:

    hhummm it looks so delicious!

  34. SYLVIA says:

    This is an elegant upgrade on a traditional apple dumpling. I can’t wait to impress my friends and family with this festive dessert at this year’s thanksgiving dinner. One bite of this apple and accompanying fig jam, I will be sailing away to the Beirut beaches.
    Joumana, I like how you wrap them like a Xmas present. Perfect Autumn dessert.

  35. Jamie says:

    Wow! You have made such an elegant, beautiful Apple Dumpling and what beautiful flavors! Gorgeous! I’ve been wanting to try making these for so long and you have me wanting it even more.

  36. Julie says:

    Ça présente vraiment super bien, et la pomme a l’air d’un fondant extra!! J’adore cette recette si originale…

  37. vegetarianirvana says:

    All I can say is Wow! It is like your having your own little apple pie but with a middle eastern twist.

  38. pierre says:

    salut joumana et en Normandie on appelle ça un …douillon !!Bizz de Paris Pierre

  39. sicoulette says:

    waoww! this looks yummy! and I happen to have my grandma’s homemade fig jam with walnuts:) thank you joumana for sharing:)

  40. Koko says:

    This looks to die for! And it’s presented so creatively and beautifully. Just amazing!

  41. Katie @Cozydelicious says:

    What a fantastic idea! Fig jam in apple dumplings – yum!!!! I just made a big batch of fig jam… maybe it’s time to make apple dumplings.

  42. fimère says:

    un vrai travail d’artiste, j’adore
    bravo à toi
    bonne soirée

  43. Hannah says:

    Oh, that is so gorgeous!! I bet it would be even more insanely delicious with Maggie Beer’s Burnt Fig Jam 🙂

  44. Sweet Artichoke says:

    Voilà une superbe variation de la pomme au four (que j’adore, mais qui n’est pas toujours présentable!!) C’est une très belle idée d’enrober la pomme avec de la pâte, et, miam… de la confiture aux figues…

  45. Conor @ HoldtheBeef says:

    Seriously? These are so cool! Definitely hand-clappy when presented with (yes, I am nothing but a little girl some times).

  46. Foodycat says:

    The fig filling is inspired! Yum!

  47. Rachana says:

    They look absolutely lovely. The fig jam filling is simply great 🙂

  48. TS of eatingclub says:

    Oh nice! This one-ups the regular ol’ baked apple. An impressive thing to serve!

  49. HPD says:

    Some folks this this time of the year is football season, and I can’t argue with them, but it’s always apple season to me. You gotta try a Western Slope Honeycrisp. Cheers!

  50. Heni says:

    Ahhh what a delicious Fall treat! I am DEF going to make this! I do pears wrapped with puff pastry with almond paste inside ;.. but this is lovely, esp since I adore figs in all forms! Bravo for this one Joumana!

  51. grace says:

    it’s a feat to make something so simultaneously tempting in appearance, aroma, and flavor. well done!

  52. Lentil Breakdown says:

    Wow, have never seen this in Texas! That is really something!

  53. The AmerArab Wife says:

    Now I am feeling a little homesick, wishing the weather felt more fall-like so that I could make these delicious treats. I love the look of them and the coupling of the fig jam with the apple. Lovely.

  54. Maria says:

    Those turned out absolutely beautiful! I love how you encolsed the apples in the dough. Wonderful presentation — I personally adore the smell of apples baking. Delicious!

  55. tobias cooks! says:

    This is a great dish for the current apple season. Fantastic idea.

  56. domi says:

    Voilà un bien joli paquet gourmand et ta photo de la coupe lui rend bien justice…c’ est un dessert rustique et gourmand auquel on ne pense pas assez….

  57. sare says:

    Joumana, It’s very charming.

  58. jason argon says:

    try this with bergamot marmelade and a geranium leaf for the stuffing.allthe best!

  59. Rachel says:

    This looks so fantastic. I would love to serve this at a dinner party – would it be possible to prep everything (cook apples + cover with dough) the night before and refrigerate without everything going mushy?

  60. Rachel says:

    Thank you! I did the prep the night before and did the final bake the day of. They were super! World class.

  61. Thai Recipes says:

    LOOKS DELICIOUS! I will definitely try it !!

  62. p says:

    there’s this old , dark bakery around the corner that is known for its pommes rabottes . I’ve been going there for years but the problem is you have to get up early or else they would be gone by 10 am ! their crust is so unbelievably delicate and crumbly that I always believed that a homemade version would be a disappointment . I even tried a few times with both homemade and store bought pate feuilletee . It was good but not THAT good! So over the years I just stopped trying ! I’ve been reading your blog for a decade now but somehow I never came across this recipe !! Needless to say I will be baking tomorrow morning before the sun is up !

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