Festive Apple Dumplings with a Spiced Creme Anglaise

Sunday 1 December 2013

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 Yay, its the first of December and do you know what that means????   The Mincemeat Fest can begin!  I refuse to eat a mince pie until the first of December, even though the shops have been full of them for at least 2 months already.  Mince pies are a Christmas thing and I will not entertain anything Christmas until at least the first of December! 

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When I was a child I did not like mincemeat at all.   They actually put meat in mincemeat back in Canada you know, and I did not like it one little bit . . . the mincemeat over here doesn't have any meat in it at all and is a lot tastier to my way of thinking.  Mince pies are like tasty little spiced raisin and currant pies, with some mixed peel and candied cherries thrown in for good measure.  I quite like ADORE it now.

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Of course you can make your own and I often do.  The recipe I like to use is Delia Smith's, which you can find here.  It's the best in my opinion.  She is one of the best of the female cook's here in the UK, next to Mary Berry.  You can trust her recipes 100%!

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If I haven't made my own mincemeat, I like to buy in a couple of jars of really good quality mincemeat.  I quite like the one Marks and Spencer's puts out myself.  It's got a nice lot of fruit in it.  The best part of it is . . . you don't have to just use it for making mince pies! 

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I am quite adept at doing all sorts with the stuff . . . tasty delights such as a yummy Mincemeat Jalousie, or a Spiced Cranberry, Mincemeat and Almond Eve's Pudding.  Then there is my scrummy Marzipan and Mincemeat Tea Loaf, and my Pear and Mincemeat Dumplings.  I have rolled it up into Croissants, and added it to my Holiday Split Second Biscuits.  And . . . lets not forget my Baked Holiday Custards, or my Christmas Morning Do-nut Muffins.  Yeppers, I am a mincemeat aficionado!  And I make mince pies as well, and in two different ways!  (Yes, those are all links to the recipes!)

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Today I decided to make some apple dumplings and stuff them with mincemeat to help kick off this years Mincemeat Fest!  I used tart cooking apples, which I cored, peeled and rolled in cinnamon sugar.   I then stuffed them with some mincemeat and wrapped them up in crisp puff pastry.

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But that's not all, nope . . . that's not all.  I created a spiced Creme Anglaise (custard by any other name) to serve with them.  Deliddle-ee-icious! I have surpassed even myself with these.  I do hope you will give them a try.   They're not hard to do at all, and oh so scrumptious if I don't say so myself!!   Go on . . . bake them.   You know you want to!

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*Festive Apple Dumplings with a Spiced Creme Anglaise*
Serves 4
Not only are these pretty to look at, but each bite brings you a combination of crunch from the puff pastry, the fluffiness of tart apple, the spicy sweetness of mincemeat and of course that sultry rich creme anglaise.  You can skip the creme anglaise if you wish and just serve them with vanilla ice cream, but the creme anglaise is a really nice touch. 

For the dumplings:
4 medium sized cooking apples
4 TBS sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 sheets of ready roll puff pastry.
4 dessertspoons of prepared mincemeat
1 small free range egg, beaten with 1 tsp of water
demerara sugar 

For the creme Anglaise:
235ml of half milk and half cream (scant cup)
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
4 medium free range egg yolks
5 1/2 TBS caster sugar
pinch each cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom 

First make the dumplings.   Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.  Line a baking tray with some baking parchment.

Unroll your puff pastry.  Cut out 4 3-inch squares and place them each on the baking tray, leaving plenty of space in between.  Cut out 9 to 12 small pastry leaves.  (You can just cut another 3-inch squares into four triangles each and score lightly to resemble the veins in leaves.)  Cut the remainder of the pastry into 1/2 inch wide long strips.  

Core the apples and peel.   Mix the sugar with the cinnamon and roll each apple in this mixture to coat. Brush the squares on the baking sheeet with some of the beaten egg.  Place each cored apple on the centre of a pastry square and fold the pastry up to fit around the apple base snuggly.   Fill each core with an equal quantity of mincemeat.   Brush the pastry strips lightly with some of the beaten egg and apply them to the apples, covering them all the way around, working your way up from the bottom and slightly overlapping them over each other, egg wash side in so that they stick to each other.  Do this until the apples are all covered with the exception of the mincemeat hole in the middle.   Brush the leaves with some egg wash, and apply around the holes, again leaving the hole open.   Brush the outsides of the pastry covered apples with some more egg wash and then sprinkle with demerara sugar.

Bake in the heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the pasty is golden brown and crisp and the mincemeat is bubbling and the apples are cooked.  Remove from the oven and allow to stand while you make the creme anglaise.

Heat the cream with the vanilla in a saucepan until you see bubbles around the edges.  Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until smooth.  Slowly pour half of the cream into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly.   Return this mixture to the remainder of the hot cream, again whisking constantly.  Return the pan to the heat and cook, whisking, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a metal spoon.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the spices. 

Place one fourth of the cream anglaise in each of four dessert bowls.  Top each with one of the baked apples and serve immediately.  Delicious!


  1. So lovely, Marie. It's almost a shame to destroy it w a fork....almost. ;)

  2. I agree with you - no Mince Pies until 1st December!
    Julie xxxxxxxxxxxx

  3. As a Canadian,I'm confused; my mother and grandmother made their own mincemeat filling, sometimes adding suet but always telling us that theirs had no "real" meat as it would have been in their British ancestors' day. Lots of fruit for sure. My family doesn't care for it now, so I usually buy some preprepared and make tarts so that I can have a hit of that spicy goodness that says Christmas to me.

  4. Colleen, the mincemeat that my mother bought at the shops always had meat in it, maybe not a lot but some, and they would add deer meat to the homemade stuff, ground. I never liked it. I much prefer the "British" version which has no meat!

  5. This sound like heaven! I have always wanted to make apple dumplings and stuffing them with mincemeat...well, that sounds just delicious!! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Kate, I do hope you will give them a try!!

  7. Every bit of that looks and sounds amazing.

  8. Merry Christmas Marie.

    Elaine Cobb


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