- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup firmly-packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup whisky
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons firmly-packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup walnut pieces, chopped
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- Kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1/4 cup milk, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons if necessary
For the sauce: Whisk together the applesauce, brown sugar, whisky and maple syrup in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and let cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter and 1/8 teaspoon salt and set aside.
For the filling: Put the flour, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Using your fingers, rub and break up the butter pieces with the flour and sugar to form a crumble. Add the walnuts, toss to combine and set aside in the refrigerator.
For the dough: Blend the flour, baking powder, sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor until evenly combined. Add the butter and blend again until the dough appears crumbly, about 15 seconds. With the motor running, stream in the milk and process until the dough comes together but still looks somewhat dry, adding more milk a tablespoon at a time if necessary. Gather the dough and transfer to a floured work surface. Give the dough a couple of turns to form a ball and divide into 4 equal pieces.
To make the dumplings: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Whisk together the egg and cream in a small bowl to make an egg wash and set aside.
Take a piece of dough and roll it out on a floured surface into a circle about 6-inches across (the edges don't have to be smooth or even). Working with one circle at a time, set an apple in the center of a circle. Fill the hollowed core with 2 tablespoons of the filling, tamping it down gently to fill. Brush the edge of the dough with some of the egg wash. Gather the dough up around the apple, gently stretching the dough and making pleats and folds as necessary, so that most of the apple is covered but the filling at the top is exposed. (If you have small apples, trim the dough to fit.) Brush the outside of the dough with more of the egg wash and transfer to the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining apples and filling. Mound any remaining filling on the tops of the apples.
Bake the apples for 15 minutes. The dough will start to brown and the filling will be fragrant. Remove the baking dish from the oven and pour 1/4 cup of the sauce into the stuffed core of each apple; pour any remaining sauce into the baking dish. Top the apples with the cherries, scattering any extra into the sauce. Reduce the oven to 375 degrees F, loosely cover the apples with foil and bake until cooked through and a paring knife can easily pass through the center of an apple with little resistance, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer the apples to serving plates, spooning some of the sauce over the top. Serve with whipped cream.
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