Apple Pastry Rolls

From the Recipe Shoebox.

Ingredients:

for the sauce:
2 c sugar
2 c water
1/4 c butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

For the pastry dough:
2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c shortening (I used butter flavor shortening)
1/2 c milk 

for the apple filling:
3-4 apples (good cooking ones like Granny Smith), peeled and chopped
lemon juice
(to help with the browning)
1/4 c sugar (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  

Add the sugar, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter to a sauce pan.  Stir and heat to a boil.  I can tell you that the smell from this was heavenly.  Who needs to have a scented candle when you can heat this, then add apples and eat?!  OK, I digress...

 Let it boil for about 5-10 minutes.  Make sure that you are using a pan big enough to allow for the boiling sugar water.  I actually had to pour my sauce into a bigger pan when it started boiling.  (note the change of pans in the pictures!)  The longer your boil, it may actually reduce a bit to be thicker.

Meanwhile, either prepare your pastry dough or chop your apples.  I chose to peel and chop apples first because 1) peeling apples takes a long time for me and I wanted to get it over with, and 2) I had limited space on my counter top and couldn't roll out a dough in the space I was chopping apples.

 After chopping your apples toss them with lemon juice so as to prevent a lot of browning. I actually used 3 big apples and I think I may have actually had too many making it hard to roll up the dough.  (then again, can you ever have too many apples when it comes to baking?)

 For the dough, mix your dry ingredients in a bowl.  Measure out your shortening and then add small pieces of shortening to the bowl, tossing it around periodically to cover them all with flour.

 Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender, or two knives, or even just with your fingers (which is what I did).  You want it to be like pie crust and be little pieces of covered shortening.

 Make a well in the center of your bowl, and pour in the milk.

 Stir just until all the flour is moistened.

 Flour a surface to roll the dough and dump out your dough.  You will have to press it all together and knead it a few times to get it all into a nice smooth ball.

 Roll out into a 12 x 10(ish) rectangle.  I am so horrible at rolling out rectangles.  Maybe the next time I will make these as crescents.  That's so much easier to roll out.  Make sure to flour underneath from time to time and move it around so that it isn't sticking to your counter.

 Spread the chopped apples all over but leave a 1/2 inch or so border on the bottom clear of apples.  Mix your remaining sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the apples.  NOTE:  If you want it less sweet, leave this part out.  I think I will next time.  The sauce is plenty sugary.  (not that my family would complain)

Carefully roll the dough in a spiral until you have rolled up all the apples.  Remember that this is a pie-like consistency and the dough can easily tear.

  Pinch the edges so as to seal it up.  Moisten your fingers with water if necessary.

 Slice into 12  1-inch thick slices.

 Spray the bottom of a 9 X 13 pan and evenly arrange your apple rolls.

 Pour the cinnamon sugar syrup over your apples.

 Bake in oven for about 45 minutes or until the tops are golden and the bottoms are looking cooked.  It's hard to tell if the bottoms are all  the way cooked because they are sitting in syrupy liquid.  I was concerned that they would be squishy (and I don't like squishy baked food).  But perhaps that's why Better Homes and Gardens called them "Apple Dumplings"

If you can't help it and you have to eat one right away, then yes, the bottom of these will seem a little less cooked than the golden tops.  But I promise you that if you wait until it is cooled down the the sauce thickens up, then it tastes like a single serve apple pie.   (I admit, that I ate 2 of them for breakfast today.  But I seem to have read recently that it's OK to eat sweets for breakfast  because then you have the whole day to burn calories.  Unlike when you sit down in front of  the TV at 10:30 at night after kids are finally quiet and then you have to eat your sweets.  Um, maybe that's just me.)  

 Speaking of which, I think I still have a couple in the pan...



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