Serve with vanilla ice cream for a special treat.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt. With a pastry blender or fork, cut in vegetable shortening or lard until particles are the size of peas. Beat egg with fork; blend in vinegar and water. Sprinkle water mixture over flour ingredients, a tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork to mix. Gather dough together with fingers so that it cleans the bowl. Form into a couple of firm balls. Chill in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 425 degree F. Roll pastry on lightly floured surface. Cut pastry into 7- to 9-inch squares, depending on the size of the apples (a 3-inch apple needs a 7-inch square of pastry.) Place an apple on each square. Mix raisins and nuts; fill each apple. Moisten corners of square and bring opposite corners up over apple and pinch.
Repeat with remaining corners. Pinch edge of pastry to seal. Place dumplings in an ungreased, 13x9-inch baking dish. Heat brown sugar and water to boiling, and carefully pour or spoon syrup around dumplings. Bake, brushing syrup over dumplings 2 to 3 times, until crust is golden and apples are tender, about 40 minutes. -Billie and Billy Whitfield