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Caramel apple dumplings
3 cups(about1/2pound)peeled,cored and diced tart apples.
7 tablespoons light brown or maple suger
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon apple pie spice blend
1 15-oz package refrigerated pie shell crusts
11/4 cups apple cider
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
8 small wedge Vermont cheddar cheese, optional
1pint vanilla ice cream, optional

(1)preheat the oven to a mixing bowl, toss together the apples,6 tablespoons of the brown sugar, walnuts,flour,and 1 teaspoon of the spice blend.
(2) unwrap one pie crust,keeping the remaining one refrigerated until ready to use.cut the crust into 4 pieces along the fold lines.on a light floured surface,roll each piece to a rough 6 to 7 inch about 1/3 cup apple mixture into the center of each circle.fold up the piecrust to enclose the fruit,firmly pinching the edges together at the top to seal.repeat the procedure with the remaining piecrust and apple the filled dumplings, at least 1 inch apart,in a 9 by 14 inch or other shallow 3 quart baking dish.sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon suger.
(3)in small saucepan, bring the cider,butter and maple syrup to a simmer,stirring to melt the butter.pour the sauce around the apple dumpings.
(4)bake for 20 minutes, than spoon some of the syrup over the dumplings to baste them.continue to bake,basting 1 or 2 more times,until the pastry is a rich golden brown and flaky,and the syrup is reduced and caramelized, about 20 minutes or more.
(5) let the dumplings rest in the baking dish for about 5 minutes, than use a spatula to transfer the dumpings carefully to dessert plates.spoon the caramel sauce over the dumplings. Serve warm or at room temperature with wedges of cheddar cheese or scoops of ice cream if desired.



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