dried blueberry + pecan + honey caramel stuffed apple dumplings

Thanksgiving is just around the corner for us Canadians. Paul and I are going to be going to my Mom’s over on the mainland to feast and relax. I have been trying to come up with some different ideas for dinner and dessert, ones that maybe aren’t so elaborate and large. There is only going to be 4 of us for dinner so doing an entire turkey seems a little extravagant. Plus who made the rule up that you have to have a big whole turkey on Thanksgiving? This year I think we are going to make my now “family famous” soy, maple turkey meatballs {recipe here} I have made these the last couple of years for Christmas and thought I would bring them into the Thanksgiving mix, along with a honey ham. We are still getting our turkey just in a different way. Although I do think that you don’t even have to do turkey, mix it up with a ham, maybe a pork roast or skip the meat all together and just make some amazing veggie dishes. The rules of holiday meals are so stickler and stuffy and completely unnecessary. It’s your home make and eat as you please!

I have been working on a few new sides the last couple of weeks too, because side dishes are just as important as the main event in my mind. One dish in particular, Paul and I made twice just this weekend because it was that good. Caramelized onions with thyme, white wine and balsamic roasted carrots, seriously easy but it is filled with so much flavour. I could eat a plate of them alone for dinner. I will share that recipe soon too.

But of course no dinner is complete without dessert…the crème da le crème of any meal really. I have a couple of different fall desserts here on my blog:

Farro stuffed apple blossoms

Grandma’s honey pumpkin pie + maple toasted pecans

Date paste cinnamon buns

Mini spiced carrot cakes with coconut honey caramel drizzle {this caramel also makes an appearance in this recipe too}

But these apple dumplings are my newest addition to the fall dessert roster. They are incredible. The pastry, which I have been perfecting over the summer is buttery, tender, flakey and a little crispy in all the right places. The coconut honey caramel is one I have used before and really you could drizzle this over anything. Here it is stuffed inside the apple inside the pastry as well as drizzled on top. It is much easier to make than a regular caramel, no thermometers needed. You can also play with the darkness of the caramel, letting it simmer shorter for a light, creamy caramel or longer for a darker stronger more robust caramel. You pick. It also stands up well in the fridge and reheats perfectly.

Besides the caramel the apples are also stuffed with nuts and dried blueberries just to make them a little extra decedent and to give a bit of a texture. You could use any nut you like really, you could also use a different dried fruit; raisins, currents, apricots, or just skip the nuts and dried fruit all together and just add extra caramel. Personally I really like the textural bites where you get a little crunch too but it is ultimately up to you.

You can make these ahead of time as well, a couple of days before your dinner. Of course they are best served right out of the oven, warm and topped with ice cream or whipped cream but they do reheat quite well so if you are in a pinch of time the day of your dinner make these beforehand to save your sanity and give you more time with the family, which is truly what these kinds of holidays are all about. Just warm them up in the oven for about 20 minutes before you serve them again.

I am excited for our weekend away, my girlfriend and I are going to go over on Friday evening and then Sunday afternoon Paul will come over after he is done working for the weekend. My Mom lives in a really really small town surrounded by mountains and lakes on the mainland (just outside of Vancouver, BC), it is a beautiful area. Paul and I always like to get out and explore newnature spots when we go over. The last time I was there with a girlfriend we found a new lake that has a walk that goes all around, we didn’t get a chance to do the whole loop so I think I will make it our mission this time, it is quite picturesque.  

We will feast on comfort foods and decedent fall desserts, lounge in our pj’s for longer than we should and explore unknown lake side trails. It will be total bliss. I am working on a couple of more fall desserts for you guys, because you don’t need a thanksgiving to pop around just for dessert. I have some ideas that I think will be delicious and I can’t wait to double test them for you guys (it’s all part of the job, don’t worry I am good with the burden) so keep your eyes out for those posts, I also have some extremely delicious main dishes coming up too.

But for now I will leave you with these caramel stuffed, pastry covered, apple dumplings, a fall dessert that will be sure to please any guests. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends, I am sending warm wishes my mine home to yours.

dried blueberry + walnut + honey caramel stuffed apple dumplings

caramel ingredients

1 can of coconut milk

½ cup honey

3 tbsp butter

1 tbsp vanilla

½ tsp Himalayan salt

pastry ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

¾ cups chilled butter

2 tbsp coconut sugar

1 tsp hinlayan salt

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ cup ice water + 1 ½ tbsp

apple ingredients

6 royal gala apples (or any other firm apple that holds together when baked)

Juice of one lemon

½ cup coconut sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

Pinch of ground cloves

filling ingredients

1/3 cup pecans

1/3 cup dried blueberries

5 tbsp of caramel

¼ cup cream (for brushing)


preheat the oven to 400 degrees.


whisk together the dry ingredients, set aside.

it is best to use chilled (frozen) butter. on the largest hole of a cheese grater, grate the butter into the flour mixture. mix lightly with a spoon every few heaping grates. add in the ice water in small increments, stirring until all the water is added. knead the dough until just combined and then pour out onto the counter. you can add more water by the tablespoon if the mixture is still dry.

kneading again until the pastry holds together, form the pastry into six balls, wrap them individually in saran wrap and chill in the fridge for at least half an hour.


combine all of the ingredients into a medium sized sauce pan on the stove. bring to a gentle boil and then turn the heat down to a simmering boil (I used a stainless steel pan and had the heat between 2 and 3 after the main boil) and let this caramelize for 30-50 minutes depending on the colour and thickness you want.

stir the caramel with a wooden spoon every 15 minutes so it does not burn on the bottom, if you do get some burnt pieces just stir them into the caramel they will add extra flavour. once you are nearing the end of the caramelization stir more often until you get the consistency you like.

Remove the caramel from heat and transfer to a small glass bowl. Cool for 5-8 minutes and then stir, consistently until it turns smooth and glossy. set aside.


Roughly chop the pecans. In a small bowl add the pecans, blueberries, and caramel mix throughly. mix the cinnamon and coconut sugar into a separate bowl. Set both aside.

assembling the dumplings:

peel and core the apples, making a lightly bigger core so you are able to stuff the apple. I also cut a flat surface onto the bottom of the apple so they stood up straight once they are wrapped in the pastry. 

on a floured flat surface roll out each ball of pastry dough into a circle about 7 cm in diameter. 

roll the peeled apple in the coconut sugar and cinnamon mixture, then place about 1 tbsp (just filling the cored centre) of the blueberry, pecan, caramel mixture into the cored middle. place the apple in the middle of one sheet of rolled pastry and wrap it around the apple making sure it is sealed at the top and sides. 

with a knife make a light cross on the top of the pastry then brush with cream (or you could do an egg wash, whichever you prefer) and sprinkle with more of the cinnamon and sugar mixture. place in a large cast iron pan or on a parchment lined baking sheet. 

repeat the above steps with all six apples. 

bake the apples at 400 degrees for 10 minutes and then turn the heat down to 350 degrees for another 30-40 minutes. 

Serve the apple dumplings warm with ice cream or whipped cream.