Sometimes when you are looking through recipes to see what you can make, certain things catch your eyes. This time, two things peaked my interest on one particular recipe. First, the recipe was made with not only crescent rolls (you know, the good ol’ rolled in a can Pillsbury kind) but also it was made with Mountain Dew. You read that correctly – Mountain Dew. The nectar of the gods (if the gods lived in the backwoods of Maine). So I was already intrigued. Then, the pièce de résistance of my search were found in the last words the author said about the recipe:
WARNING: Prepare this dish at your own risk. It is beyond imaginable.
I’m all for a little hyperbole now and then, but those are some pretty strong words and kind of sealed the deal for me about making it. The recipe came from Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, and I can now officially say I am a fan. Her stuff is just easy to make and tasty. Plus her recipes, especially the ones off her blog, are easy to follow. Her folksy style comes out when she writes as does her sense of humor. I think this is the third recipe I have made of hers for this quest and I doubt it will be the last.
I wasn’t exactly sure what a dumpling was and for most of the day, I kept calling them turnovers (I had even picked out a recipe for a turnover). A dumpling is a broad classification for a dish that consists of small pieces of dough often wrapped around a filling. Well, that makes sense for this recipe because you really just wrap a crescent roll around an apple wedge. I’m still not exactly sure about why a turnover is not the same thing, although I think the turnover is sealed within the dough so it has more of a hand held pie quality to it. Regardless, today was Apple Dumpling Day and I was making an apple dumpling recipe…with Mountain Dew.
I feel I say this a lot, but this recipe in particular was super easy. I peeled and cored the apples, cut them into wedges and then wrapped each wedge in the crescent roll dough lining them up like soldiers in a pan as I went. After that, I poured a concoction of melted butter, sugar and vanilla over the top and then cracked open the Dew and poured that around the edges. After a generous sprinkle of cinnamon, it went in the oven and then popped out about 40 minutes later.
Anytime you are baking with apples and cinnamon your house is going to be filled with the most delightful of smells. When they finally came out of the oven, Lola was salivating and wanted to try some right away while it was good and hot. I let it cool a bit but then served her up a nice portion accompanied by some vanilla ice cream (as all apple dumplings should, unless your evil). Safe to say I hit the sweet spot for Lola because her reaction was simply “I want to hump this.” That’s my Lola.
The crescent rolls give it a nice crusty consistency while still giving you the pillowy, flaky taste of the inside of the roll. The apples, after 40 minutes in the oven, soften perfectly and sweeten up nicely thanks to the butter and sugar. The butter and sugar naturally make everything sweet and tasty, that’s what they do, but it’s not overwhelming. The Mountain Dew, the best I can tell, helps create the juice in the dish which was similar to the moist part of an apple pie but more liquidy. When I served it, I spooned some of the liquid over the dumplings to make sure we had some on our plates. The ice cream, well it did what ice cream does to any dessert – just made it better, and adding some cool to the hot for a perfect taste combo. All in all, I would say this was fantastic.
This recipe was quickly moved into the “Make Again” category because it really was that good. I have to say Ree’s comment about it being “beyond imaginable” was not far off. Another reward of this quest is discovering new things and that’s one of the things I learned today. I woke up not really knowing what a dumpling was and at the end of the day, I had made them and learned they are really good. That’s living and celebrating, and that’s what I’m trying to do here. Then again, that could be the Mountain Dew talking.
Next Up: National Cheeseburger Day