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  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Melt the 4 tablespoons butter for the syrup in a 9" x 13" baking dish; glass or ceramic is preferable. Set the dish aside.

  2. To make the syrup: In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the water and sugar until the sugar melts. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the boiled cider. Set aside.

  3. To make the filling: Mix together the cinnamon and apples. Set aside.

  4. To make the dough: Combine the flour and butter in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Work the butter into the flour with a mixer, your fingers, a pastry blender, or pastry fork, until the mixture is crumbly.

  5. Stir in the milk, and mix until the dough just comes together and leaves the sides of the bowl.

  6. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it gently, until it's somewhat cohesive.

  7. Roll the dough out gently until it's a rectangle about 10" x 15"; rolling the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper is helpful here. Scatter the apples evenly over the surface of the dough.

  8. Starting with a long side, gently roll the dough into a log, pinching the edges together to seal. It may tear, but don't worry; just mend it as best you can. If you've rolled the dough out on parchment paper, it can help prevent the tearing.

  9. With a bench knife or serrated knife, cut the log into 16 slices, starting in the middle and moving out towards the edges.

  10. Arrange the slices atop the melted butter in the baking dish as artfully as possible. The slices may want to fall apart, but again, not to worry. The finished product will look just fine.

  11. Pour the syrup over the apple dumpling slices and carefully transfer the pan to the oven.

  12. Bake the dumplings for 40 to 45 minutes, until the biscuits are lightly browned on top, and the syrup is bubbling. Be careful moving the pan, as the hot liquid can slosh from one end of the the pan to the other very easily.

  13. Let the dumpling slices cool a bit, then serve them with syrup spooned over the top.

  14. Store, loosely covered, at room temperature for a day or so. Freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Because self-rising flour is much lower in protein than regular unbleached all-purpose flour, you can knead with a bit more abandon without danger of the dough becoming tough.
  • We recommend using boiled cider for more pronounced apple flavor. If omitting the boiled cider, or you like your dumplings extra sweet and syrupy, use 1 1/2 cups each sugar and water. If using boiled cider, and you want dumplings that are a little less sweet but still sticky and gooey, use 1 cup each sugar and water.