Apples in Nightgowns, a German Apple Dessert

I am taking a short break from writing stories about ancestors, as I get into some thorny thickets of research, but meanwhile, we still have to EAT! So how about a German apple dessert?

Since I’m mostly looking at German immigrant ancestors right now, I checked out a German cook book for some inspiration. I had downloaded —The German Cookbook: A complete Guide to Mastering Authentic German Cooking by Mimi Sheraton –to my Kindle. (It is also available in print editions.)

One of the reasons I chose this book is that it has lengthy introductions to each chapter, filling you in one what Germans eat, or what they ate in the past, and Sheraton emphasizes the regional nature of recipes.  Thus I can look for the Bavarian dishes that would have been prepared by most of my German ancestors, or wander farther afield.

German Apple dessert

Apples in Nightgowns, a Greman dessert

I had a bag of apples that needed to be used up, and I wanted a German apple dessert that is a little different than my favorite apple dumplings.  Under baked German desserts I came across the title Apples in Nightgowns (Äpfel im Schlafrock) Now who could resist a dish with such a cozy name?

Sheridan’s recipe for this German apple dessert calls for one recipe of Rich Tart Pastry. She has three versions of Rich Tart Pastry in her book, but I chose to use my Perfect Pie Crust recipe, since I had some in the freezer, ready to go.  Her Rich Tart Pastry does not diverge far from the Perfect Pie Crust dough, and it worked just fine.

Unfortunately, I did not have marmalade, so as you can see above, I used a blackberry jam instead, adding some lemon juice to increase the tanginess.  I think I’d prefer the marmalade version, but there is nothing wrong with using any jelly, jam or preserves you have on hand.

My other divergence was in the size of the apples.  Mine were larger than she probably intended, so I made only four.

Apples in Nightgowns, a German Apple Dessert

Serves 4-8
Prep time 25 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 10 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk
Meal type Dessert
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Region German
From book German Cooking by Mimi Sheraton
A German apple dessert with a novel name, Apples in Nightgowns, is a new take on apple dumplings.


  • 8 small cooking apples (not too sour)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 egg yolk (beaten)


  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup raisins or chopped nuts
  • 2-3 tablespoons citrus or quince marmalade (melted)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

For serving (Optional)

  • Confectioner's sugar


1. Prepare pastry, chill, then roll out to about 1/4" thickness in a single sheet.
2. Cut into squares, each of which is large enough to wrap around one apple. Chill dough.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
4. German apple dessert before wrapping
Core and peel apples and set one in center of each dough square.
5. Mix sugar, nuts or raisins, cinnamon and marmalade and place a little of mixture in core of each apple.
6. German apple dessert with envelope wrapped dough
Cover apples with dough, envelope style, or bring corner of square up toward center to form a peak. Seal edges with egg white.
7. Set dough-wrapped apples on ungreased baking sheet or pan and brush with beaten egg yolk.
8. Bake in preheated oven ten minutes, then lower heat to 350 degrees and continue baking 20 to 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and crisp.
9. Cool and serve sprinkled with confectioners' sugar. Can also be served hot.


Sheraton recommends either egg white or milk to seal the packets, but I used the egg white, since the egg yolk was going to glaze the packets.

Get as fancy or plain as you wish with wrapping the apples. The squares I cut were about 7 inches on each side. I would recommend testing the size of dough you need on one apple, and then measuring the rest of the pieces to the same dimensions.

With larger apples it took 45 minutes in the 2nd phase of the baking (after the initial ten minutes).



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2 thoughts on “Apples in Nightgowns, a German Apple Dessert

    1. Avatar photoVera Marie Badertscher Post author

      I have a couple of very good plum dessert recipes, but would need more clues on this one to try to recreate. Were they baked? Or wrapped in dough an dropped into boiling water to cook? I have a recipe here for apple dumplings that are baked. You might look at that one and see if it looks similar.
      I show them with milk but some people make a syrup to pour over them. Was your grandma’s sauce syrupy?


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