Monday, 12 December 2011

The last of the apples...

Well, at least for now... The apples are all gone and Janet has also gone on maternity leave. So, no more free home-grown apples for a while I guess. I can tell you that not a single apple is wasted. You've seen all the cakes, and now I'm gonna share what I've done with the rest of the apples.

First, apple blondies. They are Amazing! (I hope you notice the capital A in Amazing!). When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. The recipe comes via Lucy at The KitchenMaid. I encourage you to make it too. I promise, you won't regret it. The white chocolate I used is infused with vanilla seeds, hence the little black spots on the blondies.

Like Lucy, I threw in the optional dried cranberries as well. And for me it's not just because they are seasonally appropriate, but also I think white chocolate can feel too sickly sweet and the tartness from the dried cranberries create the perfect balance of deliciousness. I must also tell you, the blondies are particularly delicious fridge cold, but Lucy reckons they taste AMAZING (capital A-M-A-Z-I-N-G) frozen. Well, I need to prove it and you know the only way how...

Apple Blondies
Recipe by The Kitchen Maid
For list of ingredients and instructions, click here.

The past few days I have been making my edible gifts (details to come later I'm sure) for Christmas and when my friend Angela at The Good Soup found out that I have loads of apples to use, she suggested I made this apple butter. And so I did. I trust Angela. She's incredible.

Yes, the apple butter takes around 3.5 hours to make, but it's easy. There's nothing much to do but stirring the pot every now and then. During the process, I think you'll also appreciate the wonderful smell of cooking apples with spices like cinnamon, cloves, allspice berries and orange rind. Yum. Thanks Angela.

I managed to make several jars of the apple butter and I know they're supposed to be presents, but I make no such promises.

Apple Butter
Recipe by Kim Boyce
For list of ingredients and instructions, click here.

A couple of weeks ago when I was in London, I went window shopping, for food... obviously. I was admiring the beautiful display of cakes and tarts from a small French patisserie and then I saw tarte Normande pommes-poires (French apple and pear tart). It looked and sounded glorious; and I thought, I wonder if I could make this at home. Since I have loads of apples I really hate going to waste.

So, when I got home I put my thinking cap on and I imagined how I'm going to recreate the tart. I never actually taste the tart from the display window, so this is solely my interpretation of the tart. I used store-bought shortcrust pastry for ease, but obviously by any means, make your own. I poached the apples and pears in sugar syrup; and the filling is sort of like an almond custard and also I added little chunks of white chocolate. In the word of Ina Garten, "how bad can that be?". Then it was topped generously with toasted flaked almonds and heavy dusting of icing sugar. I was very happy with the result because it's utterly delicious.

Apple, Pear, Almonds and White Chocolate Tart
Recipe by Me

With the last couple of apples, they are turned into these apple and cinnamon muffins. Well, why not?!

Apple and Cinnamon Muffins
Recipe by Nigella Lawson
Makes 12

2 eating apples
250 grams spelt flour (or use plain flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
125 grams light brown sugar, plus 4 teaspoons for sprinkling
125 ml honey
60 ml runny natural yoghurt
125 ml flavourless vegetable oil
2 eggs
75 grams natural (unblanched) almonds

1 x 12 bun muffin tin

Preheat the oven to 200 C and line your muffin tin with papers. Peel and core the apples, then chop into small dice (about 1 cm, but please don't measure) and put them to once side.

Measure the flour, baking powder and 1 teaspoon of the ground cinnamon into a bowl. Whisk together the 125 grams brown sugar, the honey, yoghurt, vegetable oil and eggs in another bowl or jug.

Chop the almonds roughly and add half of them to the flour mixture, and put the other half into a small bowl with the second teaspoon of ground cinnamon and the 4 extra teaspoons brown sugar. This will make the topping for the muffins.

Now fold the wet ingredients into the dry. Add the chopped apple, and stir to combine but don't over mix. To remind you: a lumpy batter makes for a lighter muffin.

Spoon this bumpy batter into the muffin papers, then sprinkle the rubbly topping mixture over them. Pop the tin into the preheated oven, and bake for about 20 minutes, by which time they will have risen and become golden.

Take the tin out of the oven and let it stand for about 5 minutes before gingerly taking out the muffins and placing them on a wire cooling rack.  


  1. Yum, everything looks amazing. It looks like you have been very busy using your apples.

  2. While everything looks and sounds so wonderfully delicious.. I really have to go for the apple butter! I love love love apple butter. My mom used to make it when I was a kid.. she even gave me the last jar of it when I moved away to go to college... oh how I always wished I still had that jar!! lol

  3. Wow Michael, love all the apple recipes...and would not hesitate in trying them all.
    Hope you are having a wonderful week and thanks for all this nice apple recipes :-)

  4. All I can say is, thank goodness a pregnancy lasts 9 months and Janet has that apple tree, because then we get to enjoy all these beautiful apple desserts from you! You and Janet should open up a bakery and call it "Apple Of My Eye", LOL!

  5. Why not indeed?!
    Amazing! (With a capital A)

  6. Everything looks so delicious!
    Nice finding you!
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  7. I don't mind more apple recipes. That apple butter looks the best!