Tag Archives: seasonal

Apple Streusel Muffins

Apple season is upon us again, and I’ve a couple of delicious new recipes to share.  The first being this SUPER easy apple streusel muffin recipe.  I don’t do lunchbox idea blogs, but if I did- this would be on the list. AND they freeze.  If they stay around that long.

Apple Streusel Muffins

Yields 12 muffins
For the muffins:
Ingredients:
240g plain flour
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large Eggs
240g brown sugar
225ml natural yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
110g butter, melted and still warm
2 medium-sized cooking apples, peeled, cored and diced into irregular pieces (this bit is important!)
For the streusel:
100g plain flour
50g packed dark brown sugar
50g granulated sugar
50g butter, melted
Muffins
Method
Preheat oven to 180°C. Put cupcake wrappers in the muffin tin. If you don’t want to use these then grease the tins really well.
Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, ginger, and nutmeg. In another bowl, combine eggs, brown sugar, yogurt, and vanilla. Add the melted butter, pouring in a slow and steady stream, while whisking vigorously to emulsify the mixture.

Muffins
Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and gently fold until the liquid is just barely combined, being careful not to over-mix. (A few lumps are okay.) Stir in the chopped apples. Fill each muffin well all the way to the top with batter; set aside while preparing the streusel.

Muffins
For the streusel:

add the flour, brown sugar, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Pour in the melted butter and gently stir with a fork until well combined and small pebble-sized pieces remain throughout.
Top each filled well with a heaping tablespoon of streusel, lightly pressing it into the batter. (A round cookie cutter placed over the cup helps keep the mess to a minimum.) Bake muffins for 18 to 22 minutes, until tops are golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Leave the muffins in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.
Muffins
Recipe Notes
To get the most “apple” out of your apples, vary the size of the pieces — the finer chopped apples melt into the batter while the larger diced apples keep their shape, revealing sweet morsels in every bite.

Apple Streusel Muffins

Apple Streusel Muffins

Divine!

The Blood Orange- a fruit of great beauty

It’s orange time of year.  Just when the body is at it’s lowest, mother nature responds with the season of vitamin C rich fruit.  Granted they are not native to our shores, but at least the majority we import are European.  The Seville oranges make such beautiful marmalade, but the blood oranges make beautiful ANYTHING.

blood orange

Blood Orange Beauty

 

The distinctive red flesh colour is due to the presence of anthocyanins (a family of antioxidant pigments not normally associated with citrus fruits.  The flesh develops its characteristic maroon colour when the fruit develops with low temperatures during the night.

You can use them simply as a snack, or add the juice to a fancy cocktail.  They are really good as an ice cream or sorbet ingredient too.  And can be used where an orange is called for in any baking or cooking.  But I feel unless you can show off their beautiful colour, just use ordinary oranges and save the blood oranges for the extraordinary occasion.

I’ve made a couple of things to showcase the most fabulous of citrus fruits. I feel slightly bad as I regularly turn to the humble lemon for a last minute dinner or dessert.  But there’s no denying it, the blood orange has a certain je ne sais quoi.

First I made Richard Bertinet’s Blood Orange Tart from his deliciousy lickable book “Patisserie Maison“. I wasn’t entirely happy with the colour.  But the flavour of the curd was like velvet.  A real treat worthy of the effort involved with any tart.

Blood Orange Tart

And as I had leftover oranges (*smiles*) I decided to be even more adventurous and try some macaron. I filled them with both raspberry curd and blood orange buttercream.

Blood Orange

Blood Orange Buttercream and Raspberry Curd

And they were DIVINE- and that’s saying something as I’m not the biggest fan.

Blood Orange Macaron

Macaron

Delicious Brown Butter Apple Financier Recipe

As you know at this stage, I’m more than a little obsessed with financiers, or friands. For a number of reasons;

1.They use up egg whites if you don’t want to make macaron or meringues

2. You don’t need any fancy mixing equipment, the tin is a plus, but not entirely necessary, you could make them in muffin tins

3. You can add all kind of flavourings to them

These are perfect for using up those apples.  I prefer to use eating apples, but cooking apples would work just aswell, just adjust the sugar until they are palatable.
Financiers
The “brown butter” element is a valuable technique, but used in this recipe to give that extra layer of flavour, so hold your nerve and don’t be tempted to skip this stage.

Brown Butter Apple Financiers

Ingredients:

150g Butter, soft

3 medium egg whites

125g Caster Sugar

55g Plain Flour

55g Finely Ground Almonds

½ teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla paste

2 Eating Apples, peeled and chopped into smallish pieces.

40g butter, melted- fro greasing and apples.

Macaron

Method:

Preheat the oven to 170oC.  Brush the financier tray extremely well with half approx.. of the melted butter

Heat the remaining butter and brown the chopped apples in this.  Leave to cool.

Melt the 150g of butter until the solids have separated and they are starting to turn brown.  Remove from the heat and cool.
Macaron
Mix all the remaining cake ingredients, apart from the apples, in your mixer until light in colour and a little fluffy.  Add in the melted 150g of butter, mix well again and leave for 30 minutes in the fridge to rest.  This helps remove unnecessary bubbles.  Rebrush the tin, and fill the sections ¾ full.  Spoon the apples pieces on top.

Bake for 15- 20 minutes.  Cool in the tray for 5 minutes.

Dust with icing sugar , and a little cinnamon.
Financiers
Divine!