450g light brown soft sugar
3 tbsp golden syrup
6 dessert apples (about 750g), peeled, cored and sliced
double or clotted cream, to serve
For the dumplings
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp caster sugar
pinch ground cinnamon
100g cold butter, cubed
6 tbsp milk
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan with 125ml water. Bring to a simmer, add the apples and cook for 10-15 mins until they’re starting to soften – it will be quite saucy. Add a generous pinch of salt, taste and check the balance, adding more if you like. If your pan isn’t ovenproof, pour into a baking dish about 20 x 30cm, or two smaller ones.
Tip the flour into a bowl. Mix with the baking powder, sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Rub the butter into the mixture with your fingertips until it resembles damp sand. Add the milk, stir with a cutlery knife until it starts to clump together, then use your hands to bring the dough together, picking up any flaky bits. Don’t overwork it or your dumplings will be heavy.
Divide into 12 golf ball-sized pieces and roll into dumplings. Arrange over the apples, leaving little gaps here and there. Sprinkle with a little extra sugar (brown or caster) and bake for 25 mins until the dumplings are puffed up and golden. Let rest for a few mins and serve with plenty of cold cream.