A wonderful treat for a crisp autumn day, these Apple Dumplings may become a new family favorite. In this traditional Pennsylvania Dutch dessert, apples, cinnamon, and brown sugar are hugged by homemade dough for a melt-in-your-mouth experience you will want to repeat again and again.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Mix together flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Cut solid shortening into dry ingredients, make a well in the center, and add milk. Stir just until dough is fairly free from sides of bowl. Turn onto lightly floured board and knead 8 to 10 times. Cover and chill while preparing apples.
Combine sugar, butter, salt, and cinnamon and fill apple core hollows with most of this mixture. Roll out dough to ¼ inch thick and cut into 4 squares. Place an apple on each square and spread remaining sugar mixture over apples. Bring up corners of dough to cover apple and press edges together (dampen with a little water if necessary). Make sure edges are sealed or dumplings will pop open during baking. Brush with egg white and prick tops of dumplings with a fork. Carefully transfer dumplings to a baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees F and continue baking for about 40 minutes longer or until apples are tender when tested with a toothpick. Serve with cream (if using).