Its officially Fall.
Its finally below 70 degrees, overcast and rainy. I love this weather:)
The leaves are turning and falling off the trees.
My wardrobe has changed from shorts and t-shirts to jeans, sweaters, scarves and boots.
And I finally went to Apple Hill 🙂
Its a yearly tradition, drive up to Apple Hill, buy fresh apple cider, the best kettle corn on earth, every apple flavored thing you can imagine…
Craft booths, caramel apples, apple wine (for the adults)…
Apple picking, pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms…
And, oh! The apple pie! Apple Hill is famous for their pie.
We used to buy a few every year, keep them in our freezer. But they are not vegan. The crust is, but ironically the apples aren’t. They are coated in butter
We left with what we could carry to the car…
(double the apples you see here, and another bottle of fresh apple cider – its the best)
And then quickly found we had more apples than we really needed. Like, 3 a day for 2 weeks.
With 5 apples left on our table, I decided it was finally time…
(insert delighted sigh)
These little delights are my proudest baking accomplishment
Denser than a cake, lighter than a muffin
The texture and flavor almost resembles a baked apple fritter or doughnut (another Apple Hill Specialty, except they are the old fashioned kind)
Fragrant and caramelly, lightly sweet and studded with apples.
They are incredibly fluffy and moist, and did I mention how pretty they are?
You know it’s true love when you run around your house with a hot muffin pan showing everyone how pretty your muffins are.
And no one notices how bad that sounded, because of the intoxicating scent coming from the kitchen.
And oh! This sauce!!! This apple cinnamon delicious glaze that is so glorious I put it in a mini martini glass to show how gladly I would drink it! Warm, its like caramel, cold its like candy. The more you reduce the sauce, the thicker, sweeter, more flavorful it gets! I reduced a cup down to about 3 or 4 tablespoons, and it is almost solid at room temperature. A little taste of heaven right there, expect more things to come with this sauce.
Now that I have taunted your senses, would you like the recipe? Alright, pull my arm 😉
Apple Hill Muffins with Apple Cider ‘Caramel’
A light, fluffy cake-like muffin studded with apples and topped with a thick, cinnamon apple glaze. Satisfying enough for dessert, healthy enough for breakfast – oh, and I may have had them for dinner, too 😉
- 2 C. spelt flour (274 g)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 C. almond milk + 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 C. unsweetened apple sauce
- 2 T. almond butter
- 2 T. molasses
- 2 T. maple syrup
- 1/4 C. organic sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 C. (260 g) peeled and chopped apples
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine almond milk and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside to ‘curdle’. In a large bowl, mix together flour through ginger. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the almond milk and apple sauce through vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Add the wet to the dry, and mix until fully incorporated. Gently fold in the apple pieces (chopped small) until evenly distributed. Spray a muffin tin, and add batter (I used about 1/4 C. per muffin). Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the top of the muffin bounces back when you press it (aka no mushy middles). Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Apple Cider ‘Caramel’ Sauce
- 2 C. fresh apple juice or cider (not the diluted kind, I’m talking fresh, unpasturized, unfiltered, delicious juice)
- 2 T. honey (or agave or maple syrup, if you don’t do honey -I do)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- pinch salt
In a small pan, combine juice and honey. Bring to a boil, and boil for a few minutes before reducing to a simmer. Cook it down for a few minutes, then bring back up to a heat and add cinnamon and sea salt. Boil while stirring (you don’t have to stir the whole time, just so it doesn’t burn). Reduce heat again, and keep stirring until it is a good consistency. Remember that it is a lot thicker once it cools, but if you want it solid keep reducing to your hearts content!
Top the muffins with caramel. You may have a little extra, but who’s complaining?
Not me, thats for sure!