February 23, 2011

Baked Apple Dumpling

I'd like to call this a little piece of heaven, but the truth of the matter is, it's a HUGE piece of heaven. Taking a dinner break off the highway during a small road trip, I'd ordered the previously posted about Grilled Chicken Tenderloin, and (despite my huge appetite at the time) opted for the lunch portion instead of the dinner. So after licking my plate clean, I was looking for something to finish off the meal: cue the dessert menu. My only mistake was vastly underestimating the scale of this dessert. (I probably would have ordered it anyway, but maybe would have asked for the ice cream on the side so I could easily take the leftovers home!)

This is a dessert to write home about. Somewhere between the size of a nerf ball and a football, this oblong dish of oven-baked goodness will warm you straight to your core. Cinnamon-sugared apples, forming the foundation of this masterpiece, are sealed shut by a pastry "dumpling" crust, which is followed by a layer of pecan streusal, vanilla bean ice cream, and a syrupy cinnamon-apple sauce. The crust and the ice cream balance nicely with the sweet syrup and apples; this is not an overly sweet dish. The small crunch of the candied pecans, soft apples, baked crust, and hot topping with the cool ice cream make for a perfect bite with every spoonful. This is definitely a dessert you'll want to share (and believe me, there's plenty to go around)!

Where to enjoy this yourself:

Cracker Barrel
Locations nationwide

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