Cooking Like the Amish!

Thursday, February 24, 2011
Way back machine 1990, I was a young(er) homemaker and looking to expand my cooking horizons. This was in the day just before Food Network and the internet. I would often times try to catch the limited cooking programing offered by PBS....that was when, where and how I met Marcia Adams (an award-winning food columnist, who is an authority on Amish foods and folkways and writes with equal knowledge about Midwestern and American cuisine) and Cooking From Quilt Country. I didn't know much about the Amish but I was quickly tutored by Miss Marcia. I simply loved those shows...AND the food, the best of homestyle cooking for sure!

Here is a synopsis of the first episode:

Program 101 ~ Maple Syrup ~ Maple Syrup Season. Marcia makes maple mousse, maple cream pie, maple syrup dumplings, and maple baked ham. Also shown on this program is a segment shot on an Amish farm showing the process of taking sap from maple trees and making it into maple syrup. A friendship quilt was shown at the end of the program from Nappanee, Indiana.

See why I was hooked! After watching a few episodes, I ordered the companion cookbook. I have loved that book dearly! Over the years I have recommended that book (as well as ANY book by Marcia Adams) countless times. Since that first book, I have added more Amish-themed cookbooks to my collection, including More Cooking From Quilt Country (also from Marcia Adams). Recently,my sweet friend Marilyn sent me a copy of Amish Cooking edited by Jillian Stewart. Stunning pictures and such yummy recipes. Thank you certainly speak my launguage.
I've had the pleasure of visiting Amish communities in Wisconsin, Ohio and Missouri and if you get the chance, visit a Amish will go away well-fed.

Sharing what has become one of our favorite recipes from that first book!

Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings
(Printable Recipe)

Pastry for 2-10-inch pie shells
6 medium-firm cooking apples
2 Tbsps lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp butter
2 cups water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp mace
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375°f. Roll out pie dough to form a rectangle 14x21 inches. Cut into 6 uniform squares. Peel and core the apples, but leave them whole. Pour the lemon juice into a small bowl. In another bowl combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon. Roll each apple first in lemon juice, and then in the sugar and place each on top of a dough square. Fill each core cavity with approximately 2 Tbsp of brown sugar and 1 tsp butter. Pull the pastry squares up over the apples and crimp the edges tightly; you will have pretty round pastry balls. Place in an oiled 9x13x2-inch pan. Bake for 1 hour or until apples are tender.

While the apples are baking, combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan set over high heat. Bring to a boil ande cook rapidly for 1 minute. After dumplings have baked for 30 minutes, pour the sauce over the top of the dumplings and bake for 30 minutes longer, basting occasionally. Serve hot with cream.

Note: Unbaked dumplings, without the sauce, can be frozen before baking. Bake unthawed, at 400°F for 30 minutes, then cover with the sauce and proceed as above.

Posting to Miz Helen's Fill Your Plate Thursday, Michael's Foodie Friday and Tina's Potluck Sunday! Thank you to these gracious hostesses!