The other day I went to the store and they were selling granny smith apples for $0.25 each.  So I had to pick up some.  Tart and delicious.  From there I wanted to make a nice dessert that would be great for a dinner party.  Then came the spark, bourbon.  Bourbon and apples go together so well, so I decided to make bourbon apple dumplings.  I don’t want to pat myself on the back or anything, but they are awesome.

Bourbon Apple Dumplings
Bourbon Apple Dumplings

Serve with some ice cream on the side and these are a winning dessert.  So good you may want to go back for seconds.

Bourbon Apple Dumplings – makes 3 dumplings

  • 1 pie dough – recipe below or use store bought
  • syrup – recipe below
  • 3 tart apples
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2-3 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbs butter

Dough – (From the Art & Soul of Baking)

  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter
  • 3-4 tbs cold water
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Bourbon Syrup

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp mace
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon


  • 9×9 baking dish
  • medium saucepan
  • pairing knife or peeler
  • apple corer
  • food processor
  • small bowl

Baking Temperature

  • 375 degree preheated oven

Making the Dough

First make your dough.  If you are using store bought dough you can skip this step.  The dough is made first as it needs to chill in the refrigerator for a bit before using.

Place the flour, sugar and salt into a food processor and pulse a couple of time to mix up the ingredients.  Then cut up the butter into smaller pieces and place in the food processor.  Pulse about 10 times in 1 second intervals until the mixture resembles crushed crackers.  Then drizzle in the ice cold water 1 tbs at a time.  Pulse in between each tablespoon of water.  After 3 tablespoons have been added check the consistency.  If you can squeeze the dough and it holds together, you are fine.  If it crumbles add a little more water.  Then turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and tightly wrap it.  Place in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes before using.

The dough should hold together without falling apart, if it crumbles fold in a tad more water.
The dough should hold together without falling apart, if it crumbles fold in a tad more water.

Next preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Making the Bourbon Syrup

In a medium saucepan start the syrup.  Place the water, bourbon, sugar, butter and spices into the pan.  Bring to a boil.  When the mixture starts to boil, set your timer for 2 minutes.  Remove from the stove top and let cool slightly before using.

I love bourbon.
I love bourbon.

Making the Dumplings

Roll out the dough into a long rectangle.  Roughly 7-8 inches wide and 20-24 inches long.  Cut into 3 equal size squares.

Peel and core 3 tart apples.  I used Granny Smith but feel free to use your favorite. In a small bowl combine the 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp of  cinnamon.  After the apple is peeled and cored, roll the apple in the cinnamon sugar.

Roll the apples in cinnamon and sugar
Roll the apples in cinnamon and sugar

Place the cinnamon-sugar coated apple into the center of one of the pasty squares.  Then spoon in some brown sugar into the core.  Then place a little bit of butter onto the brown sugar.  Sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon.  Then repeat until the core is filled.

Fill the core with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon
Fill the core with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon

Then grabbing the corners of the pasty square, fold them up and seal in the apple. Place the finished dumplings into a greased 9×9 baking pan.

Fold and place in a deep 9x9 pan
Fold and place in a deep 9x9 pan

When all of the dumplings are in the pan, slowly pour the Bourbon Syrup over the dumplings.

Cover with the syrup
Cover with the syrup

Place the dumplings in a preheated 375 degree oven for 45-50 minutes.  Cook until the dumplings are golden brown on top.

Perfectly cooked
Perfectly cooked

Serve the dumplings warm with a side of ice cream.  Drizzle the Bourbon Syrup over the top of the dumplings and ice cream.

The apples were perfectly cooked and the bourbon syrup was to die for.
The apples were perfectly cooked and the bourbon syrup was to die for.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.


  1. Chris – if you have a food processor, pie crusts are so easy and taste so much better.

    Rex – I’m going to definitely try this recipe! I love apple pie so much and this is a great alternative!

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