• Dumplings in apple sauce (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson

A light pastry dough cooked in butter, apple and honey - virtually all of Matthew Evans' favourite things all in one pan. 






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (33 votes)

"In places where there are lemons, they make lots of limoncello. In places that grow maple trees, they have maple syrup. And around us, which is historically a very important apple growing region, we flavour things with all things apple. Here, simple dumplings get the apple and honey treatment, before being served hot with cream." Matthew Evans, Gourmet Farmer Series 4


  • 135 g self-raising flour
  • 35 g cold unsalted butter, finely chopped
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp apple juice, approximately

Apple sauce

  • 1 litre freshly squeezed apple juice
  • 2 tsp native pepper berries
  • 100 ml honey
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 25 g unsalted butter 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


To make the sauce, place the apple juice and pepper berries in a wide saucepan and simmer over low heat until reduced to about ⅔ of its original volume. Add the honey, sugar and butter and bring back to the boil.

Place the flour, butter and salt in a bowl and cut the butter into the flour using a flat-bladed knife until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the egg and apple juice and knead just until the dough comes together- add a little extra apple juice if necessary.  Don’t overwork the dough. Roll into 10-12 evenly sized small balls.

Plop the dumplings into the boiling sauce, cover with a lid and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Serve (avoiding the pepper berries, mostly) with cream or ice-cream or even a lovely custard.

Cook's note

• Also known as native mountain pepper, pepper berry is available online. Substitute with black or Sichuan peppercorns. 


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Lucy Tweed. Food preparation by Tammi Kwok. Creative concept by Belinda So.


Matthew Evans is back in his brand-new series of Gourmet Farmer, 8pm Thursday nights on SBS and on SBS On Demand.