Well, it has been apple central here lately! After going apple picking a few weekends ago, we have had A LOT of apples to eat our way through, so I’ve been getting a bit creative to try and use them before they go bad!
I did send a few bags out to friends, but the majority have been hitting the lunchboxes and the rest are destined to become some sort of Pinterest-inspired recipe.
One thing I have done is to shred a heap in my food processor and freeze them. The colour is a bit off, but as I will use it for baking, I figure it doesn’t matter too much. I just washed, cored and quartered them and in they went to be whizzed up. I leave the skins on, because I love the flavour in the skin, and I don’t mind the slightly chewy texture they leave when baked, plus it gives a great red fleck through your baked goods. You could, of course, peel them first, but that’s a lot of extra work! … These are really good with some cinnamon and ginger and cooked in pancakes. I checked.
I also took some inspiration from this blog post and dried some in my oven. My word of advice here is to use some sort of machine to make sure your slices are even, otherwise you end up with some apples that are hard and shrivelled up, and others that are still juicy in the centre (this may have happened to mine).
My mum made an amazing pie with some of her apples. Did you know you can actually make a pie without sugar? For real! She cooked the apples in the microwave in a vented container. They cooked in their own juice, no water or sugar needed. Just amazing apple taste. Then add the obligatory apple pie spices and a simple shortcrust pastry (with or without the sugar). Delish!
And then these apple and carrot muffins. Oh my. So good. My version of the recipe is adapted from here, and goes like this…
2 large apples, washed, cored and grated (I leave the skin on)
2 large carrots, washed and grated (I leave the skin on these, too)
1/2 cup sugar * (see edit note)
2 cup plain flour
1 cup oats (rolled or quick-cook, whatever’s on hand)
2 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 c milk
1/2 c vegetable oil
Optional: one teaspoon each of powdered cinnamon and ginger. I leave them out, because a fussy fish in my house doesn’t like spices. I hope one day that changes, because I lurrrrve them. Also optional is to top with some pepitas and sunflower seeds. I’m obsessed with them at the moment, and they add a nut-free nuttiness to everything, which makes them perfect for taking to school. Unfortunately I forgot that I was going to add them, and pulled out one tray and threw some sunflower seeds on them, before dropping the rest on the floor and giving up. Next time I’ll remember before they go in the oven! You could also add some craisins too (another obsession of mine.)
+ Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and line a muffin tray with patty pans, or spray with oil.
+ Mix together the dry ingredients, then add in the apple and carrot, and combine.
+ Add in the egg, milk and oil, and gently stir until just combined.
+ Fill muffin tin, about 3/4 full to each patty pan.
+ Cook for 15-20 minutes, then stand in the tin for 5 minutes before cooling on a wire rack.
+ Makes 12 muffins, or 18 if you’re a bit stingy on the size, like I tend to be.
Yum, yum. They really are delicious and they get a big tick of approval from the grownups and the kids in this house.
// 14/03/16 – edit: I made another batch today with these changes: 1/4c sugar, 1/4 craisins, about 3/8c full cream milk and 1/8c water (I ran out of milk) – these are yum! The sugar amount is good, not too sweet but sweet enough. The craisins taste good, but they rehydrated a bit, which makes them a bit sultana like (I hate sultanas, so I won’t be doing that again). The texture is really nice and fluffy and the tops were crispy fresh from the oven. I will definitely do 1/4c sugar next time I make these, and will do half and half milk/water, as I think that helped keep the muffins light and fluffy. //
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