Fall … on the EAST COAST!!

Yet another long lapse of time … school, moving, new job and new surroundings! A little over a month ago we moved back to the East Coast, back to NC to be specific. And let me just say it is SO GOOD to be HOME! While it has not been easy in so many regards, there are elements of comfort. Being back on the East Coast has meant a bit of a delay in the fall weather (fall doesn’t really arrive in NC until AT LEAST mid-October and this year has been no exception). We are finally starting to really settle into a bit of a routine and enjoying reconnecting with friends and family. It has also meant we went from summer to fall and barely noticed. Thank goodness though … late summer in NC is MISERABLY hot and humid.

When I was a kid, fall meant apple picking in the mountains of Virginia and stock up on apple butter and at least one apple picking outing included picking up some pumpkins. To this day I cannot let fall go by without picking up a pumpkin. Pumpkins are happy fall accents, and they are orange which is even happier. Apple picking also meant climbing trees to get the apples (that was my favorite part) and getting some apple cider at the apple farms (oh my, that stuff was soooo good). And apple picking, always meant apple desserts. I LOVE apple desserts and hot apple cider … for me it meant fall had arrived (crisp air and changing leaves) and it is quite possibly my favorite time of year. As an adult it means those things AND more.

As soon as the first hint of crisp weather made it’s appearance … I knew it was time. Time for some sort of apple dessert. This year, I found a recipe from Trisha Yearwood that involved biscuits, apples, butter and cinnamon sugar … umm, you cannot go wrong with those ingredients! It’s ridiculously simple and easy. It is something that I think kiddos would probably really enjoy helping with and wouldn’t drive mom up a wall. Annnd, it’s a dessert that even my hubby LOVED … and he doesn’t even like apple desserts AT ALL. Score for wifey! 😉

Apple Dumplings
Trisha Yearwood

Ingredients
• 2 Granny Smith apples*
• 1 lemon
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
• 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 8 canned buttermilk biscuits
• 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Peel, core and slice the apples vertically into 8 slices each. Squeeze the lemon into a bowl of water and add the apple slices to keep from turning brown.

In a medium saucepan, mix 1 cup water, 3/4 cup of the sugar, the butter and vanilla. Bring the sugar mixture to a boil over medium heat.
Separate each biscuit into 2 layers. Flatten out just a bit with your fingers. Peel and core the apples and slice into wedges. Wrap half a biscuit layer around a slice of apple, stretching the biscuit slightly to overlap, and seal on the bottom. Place the wrapped slices, sealed-side down, in a 9- by 12- by 2-inch casserole dish. Pour the hot sugar mixture over the apple slices. Mix the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture over the tops of the wrapped apples. Bake until golden.

*Note* I have found that the use of Granny Smith apples is really important. They give a tartness that really balances the sweetness that is added by the butter and cinnamon sugar. I tried it with some gala apples, and those were too sweet for the recipe.

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