Apple Dumpling Scrolls

Apple Dumpling ScrollsThis recipe for apple dumpling scrolls comes from Knoxville, Tennessee.  I went to college in Knoxville and after graduation I was offered a job as an assistant to a work glove manufacturer just across the river from the UT football stadium.

I went to college to become a teacher but then I met this man at a party and he offered me a job at a salary way above what a beginning teacher made (at the time teachers salaries were barely enough to eke out a living).  I started out as his assistant but he was a really lovely man and he liked me and decided that he could teach me how to run a factory with 350 employees.  He did.

When I went into the factory to work, I was pretty new as a manager type and I was young – both of which worked against me but what was worst of all was my Yankee accent.  “Ya’ll don’t know how to talk way up there in that snow place,” they’d tell me.  My boss was from the same town in New York that my sister lived so he was a Yankee too.  That’s probably why he liked me.

Crust for Apple Dumpling Scrolls

The company had been going for many many years and there was a tradition that the company would have lunch before Thanksgiving catered for everyone.  One of the women who worked as a leather cutter called me aside one day and said, “You know, Maureen, most of the workers in this place are country women and what we’d like is for all of us to bring a dish and you buy the ham and turkey.”

This was NOT how things had been done before so I wasn’t sure how to approach the boss but I was all for it.  I set up a meeting with him and talked about a few things and finally he said, “Okay, what is it, you’ve been sitting there like a worm in hot ashes for 20 minutes.”  I told him what we wanted and he said, “You’re in charge, why bother me with this?”  I told him something stupid about tradition and not wanting to upset anyone.

He thought it was a great idea too.  Who knew?  The woman who started all this was Mae Parton, Dolly’s cousin.  A few days before the lunch I was asking about a job she was doing and offhandedly asked what she was bringing to the lunch.  She smiled and said it was her family secret recipe for apple dumpling scrolls.  “Why is it a secret?” I asked.

“Ya’ll know that the Partons is a big family and we all take to cookin like a duck to water,” she said.  You have to say that with a country Tennessee accent, try it.  or rather trah it.  “We all try to outdo each other at family gatherings and this is my secret recipe that I won’t share with the family.”  So it was her recipe she kept secret from her own family.  Funny woman.

Apple Dumpling Scrolls

The day of the lunch came and getting everything organized for 350 employees was tricky because there were the downstairs leather cutters who had their own lunchroom and then the fabric cutters had their own lunchroom and then all the machine operators worked upstairs in their own place.  I wanted them all together and I didn’t want food over all the gloves.  We moved crap for days to fit enough tables in but finally it was all done and people started bringing in their dishes.  I’d hired a little coolroom and brought in several microwaves and we were in business.

Lunch was fantastic and can those women cook!  When it was time for dessert I wanted to get to Mae’s apple dumpling scrolls before they were all gone.  My heart sank when I saw the dish was empty by the time I got there.  I felt a tap on my shoulder and Mae passed me a bowl she’d saved for me.  Good thing or we wouldn’t be sharing this recipe now!  It was SO good.  After Thanksgiving I asked  how much she’d charge for that recipe.  She laughed because she’d already written it out for me.

Apple Dumpling Scrolls

I hope you try it.  One thing I didn’t do this time because I wasn’t paying attention was to cut the apples into small chunks.  It’s been busy around here.

Yesterday John’s dad took a ride to the hospital in an ambulance and then they made him spend the night. He’s fine-ish and needs some follow-up care but a full recovery is expected.  He IS 93.  As my wonderful French grandmother used to say, “I been busy.”

Apple Dumpling Scrolls

5.0 from 7 reviews
Apple Dumpling Scrolls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This apple dumpling scroll recipe comes from Mae Parton from Seymour, Tennessee who shared it with me many years ago. It's a favorite of mine.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
Crust (use this or use your favorite double crust recipe or use store bought)
  • 354 grams / 12.5 oz plain flour
  • 284 grams / 2½ sticks cold butter, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used fresh)
Apple Dumpling Scrolls
  • 6 apples, chopped into small pieces
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons flour
Pie Crust
  1. This pie crust is the easiest, flakiest crust you'll ever make and it's nearly foolproof.
  2. In a food processor add the sugar, salt and ⅔ of the flour and whiz to combine.
  3. Scatter the butter over the flour and whiz in short bursts until there is no flour to be seen.
  4. Add the remaining ⅓ of the flour to the food processor and whiz 5 quick bursts and dump the contents into a mixing bowl.
  5. Sprinkle the cold water over the mixture and with a spatula, press the dough until it just comes together.
  6. Form into a flat-ish circle and cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  1. Add all the ingredients to a large saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring to the boil and boil until there are 2 cups of syrup - about 5-7 minutes usually.
Apple Dumpling Scrolls
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F
  2. Roll dough to a large rectangle.
  3. Spread the apple pieces over the dough, leaving the last 2 inches at the top uncovered.
  4. Mix the ½ cup sugar, cinnamon and flour and sprinkle over the apples.
  5. Starting from the long side nearest you, carefully roll the dough, tucking in the apples. (some will try to escape, let them go)
  6. When you get to the end, press the dough with no apples to seal the log.
  7. With a sharp knife, cut the log into 1½ inch pieces and place in a 9x13 baking pan, cut side up.
  8. Once all the pieces are in the pan, pour over the syrup and place in the oven.
  9. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the top is nicely browned.
  10. Serve with ice cream for a smashing dessert.

Apple Dumpling Scrolls

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  1. says

    …MMMM this looks really delicious! I love apples especially when they are cooked like this. I printed your recipe, thank you!

    I love your story and I like tradition too! I didn’t know you lived in Knoxville, we lived in Crossville TN form many years when I worked for Rockwell. Crossville is west of Knoxville about 45 miles. We would always visit Knoxville for restaurant’s and shopping.

    Check out my latest post, making Crème Brûlée,
    michael recently posted..Making Crème Brûlée

    • says

      I know where Crossville is. It’s on the plateau isn’t it? :) Couldn’t get to Nashville without going through there. My ex was from Shelbyville south of Nashville.

  2. says

    If there’s a choice at a restaurant I will order the apple specialty every time. This sounds and looks amazing Maureen. It’s unique and yet enough like an apple pie that I know I’d love it. I bet your neighbors were wanting to line up at the door when they smelled the aroma of this!

  3. says

    You definitely sound like you’ve been busy.

    I’m sorry for your FIL’s trip to the hospital but glad that he’s fine-ish and will be coming home soon. Lovely story and what an intriguing recipe with that syrup poured over the rolls. I’ve made the yeast rolls which are allowed to rise and then baked with whatever filling is inside and this is quite novel.
    A_Boleyn recently posted..Hand Roll (Temaki) Sushi Party … for One

  4. says

    Maureen, you have rubbed shoulders with a Parton! That is awesome… great story… best wishes to Rob… hope all is ‘back to order’… and I can hardly wait to try this delicious sounding recipe xo

    • says

      The Partons are thick as thieves in that part of Tennessee, Liz. I actually had 3 of Dolly’s cousins working for us. None could sing but they could all cook!

  5. says

    Hope John’s dad is better soon.

    I love recipes with stories! This looks like a great no fuss southern dessert. I’ve never heard of scrolls before, but anything with apples and a butter based dough has got to be delicious.

  6. says

    You have always been so capable, Maureen. Imagine running a factory with 350 employees straight out of college! And what a coincidence that Mae is Dolly’s cousin! I’ve heard it’s a very big family. The cruise director on the ship used to work at Dollywood and was in all the shows that go on there (never been, don’t know much about it except it employs a lot of Dolly’s family). Anyway, I’m so glad you got this recipe out of the vault – it looks delicious whichever way you cut the apples! I hope the dramas settle down as much as possible xx

    • says

      Yes, Dolly has a huge family. ‘Them Partons are a feisty bunch,’ or so I’ve been told. I’ve been to Dollywood and before that it was called Silver Dollar City. I used to live about 20 miles from there. Just past Sevierville (severeville in Tennesseean)

  7. says

    Hope your Father in Law is feeling better now.

    As I was reading the story, I could relate to it. I am so glad you shared the story and recipe. I am going to make this for my friend who fought a fierce battle with cancer this year and she just loves apples. I can’t wait to see the twinkle in her eyes! Thank you, Maureen.

    Ansh Dhar recently posted..Focaccia Caprese

  8. says

    What a nice story Maureen, thank you for sharing it. That factory sounds like a fantastic place to work and how generous of everyone to cook for your traditional thanksgiving lunch. How many turkeys and hams did you need to feed 350 people?
    this recipe looks very rich with all that butter, I bet it was amazing. I do hope John’s Dad recovers quickly. JTs Dad is going to be 90 in May and he can barely stay awake through a meal.
    Eva Taylor recently posted..Lemon Lentil Soup

  9. says

    I’m not a big dessert fan but I love recipes like this. And thanks for the story that goes along with it. Have you ever read Larry’s blog over at Big Dude’s Eclectic Ramblings? From Tennessee. And we’ve gotten together a few times and I know that accent very well. Great post Maureen. Pinned

  10. says

    A marvelous post! I adore family recipes, they are always good. The lush Apple Dumpling Scrolls are so inviting, bursting with irresistible apples and cinnamon cradled in the buttery pie crust!

  11. says

    Maureen, I ADORED reading this! What a fabulous recipe, but an even better story – love the idea of 350 people all having lunch together! Hope Rob is ok.. xxx

  12. says

    Dear Maureen, This does sound delicious and I am glad you got the recipe.
    I know I will give this a try. I love apple desserts.

    I will keep John in my prayers for a quite and good recovery.
    Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  13. says

    haha, I was SO picturing you reading out this post in a country swang accent! And you know what, that just made this recipe even better – loved how it all came about and the story behind it. It’s funny how people get real protective about their recipes – I’m all for sharing. You would have been awesome to work for !

  14. says

    That is a beautiful story and the history was so nice to read Maureen.
    Thanks for sharing a great recipe, my hubby loves apple pie and he would enjoy this.
    Hope John’s dad feels better, prayer from all of us.

  15. says

    Oh my goodness, Maureen, what a story, and what a recipe… so glad Mae shared her “secret” and so nice of you to share it, too! By the way, I made your Irish Brick Cake the other night and before I could finish asking, “Would you like another slice?” my hubby said, “YES, please.” 😉 Isn’t it fun trading recipes over the fence, even if they’re half-way around the world? xo
    Kim | a little lunch recently posted..Oven Baked Sandwich with Raspberry Balsamic Butter

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