These crispy apple dumplings with miso caramel dip will take your new fall dessert recipes to the next level! This Asian fusion fall dumpling recipe will satisfy all of your warm apple spice cravings in delicious bite-sized portions.
What is the one dessert you look forward to every year when fall hits? For me, it's anything with cinnamon apples. These crispy apple dumplings are everything you love about apple pie packed in a bite-sized crispy dumpling package. The crisp sweet apples are coated with cinnamon and nutmeg and the homemade dumpling wrappers are fried to golden crunchy perfection. This is my new favorite Thanksgiving dessert that I will be making this year. Say goodbye to finicky, sticky pie crust that doesn't bake easily, and say hello to these beautifully golden crispy apple dumplings. BONUS: I have paired these apple dumplings with a sweet and salty miso caramel sauce.
If you love switching up traditional American classics, check out my miso scalloped potatoes, sticky rice stuffing, kimchi mac and cheese, turkey dumplings and butternut squash puree, and Chinese garlic green beans!
Kitchen Equipment For This Recipe
- Small Rolling Pin: the small rolling pin allows you to have more control over the thickness of the dumpling dough. You want the rim of the disc to be slightly thinner than the center of the disc.
- Mixing Bowls: nesting glass mixing bowls are a must have kitchen essential for everything. I use it them for baking and cooking almost every single day.
- Small Saucepan: this will be used for the miso caramel dip. You will need a deep enough saucepan to protect you from the splatters of the hot sugar and butter.
- Heavy Bottomed pot: you will need a deep heavy bottomed pot that will hold the oil for deep frying.
- Thermometer: these dumplings are fried and with frying any food you will need a hot and consistent temperature. This is done by having a thermometer in the oil at all times. I find that using a thermometer with a clip works best. Nothing fancy just efficient.
- Spider strainer: this is for scooping out the dumplings out of the hot oil without all the excess oil. A spider strainer allows you to scoop multiple dumplings at one time for an even cook.
- Wire rack: a cooling wire rack allows for even cooling and the excess oil to run off the dumplings leaving a crispy and not oily dumpling.
Ingredients For This Recipe
Most of these ingredients for these apple dumplings with miso caramel dip can be found at your local grocery store or Asian grocery store.
- All Purpose Flour: plain all purpose flour is used to make the dumpling dough.
- Salt: the salt adds subtle seasoning to the dumpling dough
- Boiling water: the boiling water activates the all purpose flour to form it into a dough. The dough needs time so that the flour can adequately absorb all the water.
- Apple: for the best results, I recommend using, honey crisp, pink lady or golden delicious apples they are sweet, subtly tart and will hold their shape when cooked. Granny smith apples will work as well but I find them to be a bit more tart than what I normally prefer.
- Lemon juice: the acidity of the lemon juice will break up all the sugars and brighten up the filling
- Sugar: the sugar will add sweetness to the apples and caramelize the juices when the apples are cooked down
- Cornstarch: the cornstarch will thicken up the apple juices into more of a sauce so that it prevents the dumplings from becoming overly soggy.
- Salt: the salt balances out the sweetness from the apples and sugar.
- Cinnamon and nutmeg: are the delicious warm fall spices that will coat your apples in the filling
- Vanilla Extract: adds another layer of sweet flavor to the filling
- Unsalted butter: the butter acts as a binding agent and makes the apple filling have a delicious buttery finish
Miso Caramel Dip
- Granulated sugar: granulated sugar is the foundation of a caramel. Once it melts it becomes the gooey finish we all love.
- Unsalted butter: the rich butter adds a delicious creamy taste that turns the burnt sugar into a delicious butterscotch flavor. I recommend using high quality butter. The butter can really make or break the taste of the sauce. It is a good idea to splurge on that European butter for this recipe.
- Heavy Cream: the heavy cream aids in making the caramel creamy.
- White miso: is the main flavor component of the caramel giving it an umami finish. Use a white miso that will not be overpowering.
How To Make This Recipe
This apple dumpling with miso caramel sauce recipe is one to keep in your fall recipe arsenal! It is so incredibly satisfying. All you will need to do is 1) make the dumpling wrapper, 2) cook down the apple filling 3) make the miso caramel dip.
- Mix the flour and water together. Add flour and salt into the bowl of your stand mixer with a dough hook attachment or a large mixing bowl and mix with chopsticks. While the mixer is on low, slowly pour in the boiling water. Mix until water is absorbed and the dough is combined and formed. The dough may be a little crumbly and dry.
- Knead the dough. Transfer to a well floured cooking surface and hand knead for another 5-8 minutes until dough is round and smooth. The dough should be soft, smooth, springy, and not sticking to the bowl and not too tender.
- Rest the dough. Place dough in a covered greased bowl or a medium ziplock bag, seal, and allow to rest and hydrate for at least 30 minutes. Dough can rest for up to 2 hours before being used.
- Peel, core and dice your apples, then toss with the lemon juice. Add the sugar then toss to combine evenly.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the apples, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to simmer, about 2 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until the apples soften and release most of their juices, about 5 minutes. Once the apples cooked down, add in the corn starch and salt and cook until the juices thicken. Then strain any excess juice left and place apples in a medium mixing bowl.
- In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the reduced juice, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside to cool completely.
Miso Caramel DIp
- In a heavy saucepan on medium heat, add the sugar. Swirl the pan every few minutes or so to heat the sugar evenly. BUT DO NOT STIR. The sugar will form clumps before melting. Once it begins to clump you can take a whisk and occasionally stir the sugar every few minutes. It will melt in about 10-15 minutes. Once the sugar has melted and amber brown remove from heat.
- Once melted, immediately whisk in the butter. Be careful the mixture will violently bubble. Once combined, the texture should be thicker. Next, add in the heavy cream and whisk until combined. If the caramel hardens with the addition of the cold cream, place the pan over low heat and stir until the caramel is melted liquid again. Whisk in the miso until combined.
- Divide the dough. Lightly flour your work surface. Remove dough and cut the dough in half and keep one half in the bag/bowl. Roll out one half of your dough into a 1” thick rope. Cut into 16 equal pieces about 2 cm long.
- Roll dough into a disc. Place all the pieces of dough in the ziplock bag to prevent drying out. On a floured work surface, roll 1 piece of dough into a circle and then flatten it out with a small rolling pin into a 3.5”-4” disc.
- Fill and pleat. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of your round dumpling wrapper, avoid over filling. Fold the dumpling in half like a taco and pinch together in the center leaving the sides not pinched. Start pleating to the left of the center pinch and seal it to the right. Continue gathering dough and sealing pleats until you reach the end about 4 pleats. Repeat on the right side sealing the pleats to the left with another 4 pleats to form a "V" shape.
Fry the Dumplings
- Heat vegetable in a heavy bottomed pot deep enough to completely cover a dumpling to 350°F. Fry the dumplings in batches of about 5-10 at a time, until golden brown about 2-3 minutes and drain on a paper towel-lined wire rack. Serve immediately with the miso caramel dipping sauce.
Tips For This Recipe
Dumpling Dough Tips
- Homemade dough always > store bought. Homemade dough creates a fresher dumpling that holds in the flavors of the filling better than a thin store bought wrapper. This dough is also made with only 3 pantry essential ingredients and is incredibly simple to make at home. Alternatively, you can use a thicker store bought dumpling wrapper.
- Make sure to use boiling water for the dumpling wrapper. The flour needs the hot boiling temperature (~212°F or 100°C) of the water to react properly and create the pliable dumpling dough that we need.
- Cook the apples down until they soften. This allows you to cook the juices into a concentrate to add a deeper and richer apple flavor to your dumplings.
- Do not leave your caramel sauce unattended! Caramel sugar can burn really quickly. You need to watch the sugar very closely to know when to remove from the heat.
- Do not overfill your dumplings! Use just enough to place in the center of the dumpling wrapper leaving enough room to pinch along the sides. You will know how much is too much with practice. If there is too much filling it will be hard to seal the dumpling without the filling oozing out.
- Make sure to tightly pinch the edges of your dumpling to seal in the filling to prevent it from bursting. You don't want any rogue filling to be oozing out of your dumpling too early! If using store bought wrappers, remember wet the edges of the dumpling dough before pinching to seal the dumplings.
- Use a thermometer when frying the dumplings! The oil temperature will fluctuate as you put in the batches of apple dumplings. Make sure to use a thermometer so that you can make sure the temperature stays at a consistent temperature. You want the oil to be hot enough (350°F) so that the apples turn out crisp and not oily. Too cold and the oil will seep through the dumpling and make the dumpling soggy.
Troubleshooting Q's & A's
Why is my dumpling dough too sticky and wet?
This may be due to not measuring the right amount of flour or the dough has not been kneaded for long enough. Simply continue kneading for another minute or so and if it is not coming together knead in 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour at a time until the dough reaches a manageable tacky but not overly sticky consistency.
Why is my dumpling dough too dry and crumbly?
This may be due to over-measuring the flour or the dough does not have enough water. Simply continue kneading for another minute or so and if it is not coming together knead in 1 tablespoon of boiling at a time until the dough reaches the right consistency.
Why do I need to rest the dumpling dough?
Resting the dumpling dough is a crucial step in allowing the flour and water to absorb together to form a cohesive pliable dough. The time allows the dough to become more moistened over time. Make sure to wrap your dough in a ziplock bag or in a plastic wrap-covered bowl to prevent the steam from escaping the dough.
Do I have to cook the apples on a stove before I make the apple dumplings?
Cooking down the apples on the stove allows the juices to come out of the apples before we fry them in the wonton wrappers. This helps 1) eliminate any sogginess or bursting of juices that may occur when you cook the dumplings and 2) the apples are cooked down first so they are pre-softened before we fry them allowing them to have that soft delicious apple pie filling texture we want.
Serve these apple dumplings immediately after frying. You can always freeze the apple dumplings on a sheet pan in the freezer and then in a freezer-proof container for up to 3 months. To re-heat you can simply fry them from the freezer. No need to thaw.
Store the miso caramel sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month or in the freezer for up to 3 months.