Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Apple Spice Muffins

Joy (11) made these yesterday and they were very yummy (even though I have the October cold). I have made them before and forgot about them, so glad I casually left my fave muffin recipe book out, when she was 'bored'. The book is called "Muffins, fast and fantastic"; my mum gave it to me and my aga- owning, domestic goddess sister is an addict too. (Get in!)
If you don't know about muffins, they are basically the US version of fairy cakes, only much quicker to make. They rise more, are a bit more doughy and more scrumptious. They should be eaten on the same day, but that is never a problem. You should really use proper muffin tins and cases, which are deeper than fairy cake ones. You can improvise but once you get hooked you will appreciate the benefits of the proper equipment.

Makes 12 standard muffins
9oz (255g) plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsps mixed spice
3-4 oz (85-110g) sugar
1 egg
6oz (170g) chopped apple
5 fl oz (150 ml) milk
3 fl oz (90ml) vegetable oil
2-3 oz (60-85g) raisins, sultanas or chopped walnuts (optional)

chopped walnuts for topping

1. Heat oven to 200C, gas mark 6. prepare muffin tins with paper cases or oil
2. Mix together dry ingredients, (sift if you have time)
3. Mix together wet ingredients in another bowl, add apple,
4. Pour wet mixture into dry and stir for half a minute, adding dried fruit/nuts at end
5. Spoon into tins, 3/4 full. Add topping. Bake for 20-25 mins till lightly browned

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Apple chutney

Just been asked for some apple recipes for a recipe book for Apple Day next weekend at Callis and Stubbing Wharf, 24th October.

I made this for my friends last winter solstice- it was much appreciated. I still have some left, which has kept, in the jar. Nice with cheese, eg, brie and crackers, but I have had reports of people just having it on bread on it's own. I've never made chuney before, but it was dead easy. I just had to keep it bubbling till it set, which you test by taking out a teaspoonful and putting it onto a cold plate. I made it in a cast-iron pan, but sure any pan will do.

Makes 3 lb (1.5 kg)

2 lb (900g) cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
8 oz (225) sultanas, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp ground ginger
3/4 pint (450ml) vinegar
1 tsp caraway seeds (optional)
1 lb (450g) soft brown sugar

Put apples, sultanas, onion, lemon, ginger, and half the vinegar in pan, bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add caraway seeds, vinegar and sugar and simmer till chutney thickens, (which can be an hour or so). Pour into warmed jars.