How To Make Drunken Apple Dumplings, Because Today Is National Apple Dumpling Day

Colin Joliat Colin Joliat


National Apple Dumpling day is a real thing that exists (today is that day), and the only way to properly celebrate is with bourbon. Making Drunken Apple Dumplings is easier than you think. I managed to learn how yesterday, and I’m an idiot.

I come across a lot of things that make me say, “I should definitely try that.” Whether it’s a recipe for something ridiculous like Oreo Lasagna or a recipe that could be tweaked into greatness with a little booze, there are brilliant ideas floating around on which none of us capitalize. That all changes with my bastard lovechild of Lifehacker and Pinterest, the Guyism Grill.

Colin Joliat Colin Joliat


You don’t need much to make Drunken Apple Dumplings. If you’ve done any cooking at all, it’s entirely possible that you already have every ingredient except the pie crust. I was tempted to make a crust from scratch just so I had an excuse to use a vodka bottle rolling pin, but as an outdated reference repeatedly said, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Step one is to peel each (Granny Smith) apple and create a home for butter and spices. I’m a degenerate in the kitchen, so I don’t have proper gadgets like an apple corer, but a knife and small spoon did the trick just fine. I got in there with a small measuring spoon to really cleanse the colon of all its seeds. Just be sure you don’t go all the way through the apple.

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Set each peeled/cored apple in a thawed pie crust. The dough needs to be pliable, or this is never going to work. Technically you’re supposed to use a square piece of crust, but I said screw it and used the entire thing. Two crusts, two apples… it was destiny.

Put a couple small pieces of butter in the bottom of the artist formerly known as an apple core. Add some of the spice mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar. Fun fact, you can’t taste cinnamon; you only smell it. Throw in some more butter, then spice mix, then butter, then top it off with spice mix. Don’t worry if you miss the hole; this is one of the few times no one will yell at you for it. Getting brown sugar all over the crust isn’t going to hurt anyone.

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Fold the dough up and around each apple. If you’re using entire pie crusts like me, there should be plenty to pull off and discard as you go. Or you can use the entire thing, whatever. I’m not here to judge you. I’m the guy who decided to add bourbon to a nice, wholesome dessert.

Speaking of bourbon, it’s time to make the sauce. Bring water, sugar, butter, and vanilla extract to a boil. Stir frequently as it starts to heat up to help the sugar dissolve. Once it hits a boil, turn the heat down so it’s just simmering. Now add the bourbon. At this point you almost have a garnish-less Old Fashioned, only with butter and vanilla instead of bitters. That’s right, we’re using a cocktail as a sauce for apples. Deal with it. Let it reduce for about 10 minutes. Before you complain, no, all the alcohol will not burn off. That’s not how science works.

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Place the two apples in a greased baking dish, and pour the sauce all over them. I tried to get some in the opening at the top because I was feeling frisky, but you do whatever makes your heart flutter.

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Hopefully you pre-heated your oven to 400 degrees even though I didn’t mention that before. If not, do it now and apologize for not reading the entire article before starting. Once the oven is good and hot, put the apples on the center rack for 50 minutes. You can add or subtract time depending on how crisp or mushy you want the apples to be. Open the oven every 10-15 minutes and spoon some of liquid over the apples.

Colin Joliat Colin Joliat


Voila, you have Drunken Apple Dumplings. It doesn’t get much easier than this. Like I said, I just learned how to make them yesterday. I had never made a dumpling before let alone one involving bourbon and fruit. Aside from the crust splitting in a few places because I pulled it too tightly, they turned out perfectly.

Now you just throw in some ice cream and eat it. Vanilla ice cream is for vanilla people, so I used Milky Way instead. It’s also what I had on hand for tomorrow’s Ultimate Oreo Ice Cream Sandwich.

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  • 2 pre-made 9″ crusts
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup bourbon


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9×13 inch pan.
  2. Mix brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Peel and core your apples; place each in a thawed pie crust.
  4. Put a small piece of butter in vacant core, then some of the brown sugar & spice mix. More butter and some more brown sugar. Sprinkle some cinnamon and brown sugar on the outside of the apple (but inside the crust, duh.)
  5. Wet your fingertips and carefully bring the pie crust up and around the apple. If it tears, just smash extra pieces of crust on the exposed apple.
  6. Place apples in greased glass baking dish and set aside.
  7. In a small saucepan, combine water, white sugar, vanilla extract and rest of butter. (About 2 tbls) Place over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Add bourbon and simmer for 10 minutes. Carefully pour over dumplings.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes. Place each apple dumpling in a dessert bowl, and spoon some sauce over the top.
  9. Add ice cream, eat, go try another recipe.

For those curious (why?), yes, this recipe is R.Kelly apron approved.

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Recipe modified from TheHedonistCook

This post was originally published on September 17th, 2013.

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