A syrupy sweet sauce makes the original recipe for Mom’s Apple Dumplings from Gina Hill of Ottawa, Kansas an over-the-top treat. But it comes with a little too much guilt for Gina. “My mother and her twin sister used to make these dumplings when they were younger,” she explains. “Now Mom and I prepare them for many special family occasions. We’d really like to find a healthier way to fix them so that we could indulge occasionally without so much guilt.”
Our makeover team was up to the challenge. First, they tackled the syrup, which contained 1-1/2 cups of sugar. By reducing it to 1/2 cup of sugar and an amount of sugar substitute equivalent to 1/3 cup of additional sugar, they curbed many of the calories. The teammates also cut back on butter without affecting flavor or texture.
There was more than enough pastry for the apples, so they decreased the total amount without altering the final product. They also eliminated the dumplings’ shortening to cut trans fats, and they used a combination of butter, which added flavor, and better-for-you canola oil.
Finally, they switched from heavy cream to fat-free half-and-half for the topping. As a result, Makeover Mom’s Apple Dumplings are a decadent dessert with about half the calories of the original. As a bonus, it has over 60 percent less fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, and it’s much lower in sodium, too.