Apple and cinnamon...ahh, the two of them are just made for each other, aren't they? Once autumn comes round and cooking apples start plopping down from the heavily-laden fruit trees and accumulating themselves on the soft, leaf-covered ground - seemingly begging to be utilised in some scrumptious way - the door of the little cupboard in the corner of my kitchen which houses my well-stocked stash of spices and herbs may find itself bbeing opened more frequently than usual; with several cannisters of my favourite-ever spice having been placed at the very front of this said cupboard for ease of access. ;) Apple pie, apple crumble, apple cake, apple turnovers...the list of possibilities when it comes to putting cooking apples to good use in the bakery is endless. If only the same could be said for the seemingly never-ending supply of cooking apples from the orchard. For before we know it, autumn is over, and we're back to mud-stained wellies, broken umbrellas from gale-strong winds, and endless flickings of the kettle switch in order for yet another pot of tea to be put on to brew, for yes, it sure is bloody freezin' out there today chucks!!!. Ahh, just some of the many joys of winter at Derryguile House. ;)
But one thing about this lovely, but rather nippy time of the year that does not fill me with enthusiasm is the fact that beneath those very trees which, only a few months ago, were literally groaning with the weight of so many gorgeous apples, now nothing at all remains, save perhaps the odd shrivelly mushroom or some sort of tough-stemmed weed which has some sort of unnatural resistance to wet and cold. No more fresh apples!! And if the case may be that I do get in a rather fruity mood and in the need of something sweet, appley and cinnamonny...well I have to somewhat reluctantly plod down to Tescos in the hope that they will have some nice cooking apples that aren't too miserable-looking. But earlier this week, I had something of a dilemma.I really, really wanted to make something of an appley-cinnamony kind...but there was not one cooking apple to be found in Tesco or Lidl. But before I could resign myself to despair and defeat...a-ha.... what was to be found at the very back of yet another one of my bottomless cupboards?? A jar of Coleman's apple sauce!!! ;)
And so I rustled up these scrummy little buns, with the limited ingredients I had...but I reaped very fruitful rewards from my experimenting indeed. I ended up with a batch of golden, lightly-spiced, seductively moist and totally irresistible little cupcakes which, when eaten warm from the oven with a splodge of custard on the side, make the perfect treat for a cold winter's evening. <3
For the crumbly topping...
- 50 g plain flour
- 45 g butter, diced
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 50 g demerara sugar
- 150 g self-raising flour
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 90 g demerara sugar
- 60 g margarine, softened
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- A 280 g jar (or around that ;) ) of good quality, chunky apple sauce
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Preheat the oven to 180 c/160 c fan. Put 14 paper bun cases in fairy cake tins.
- Make the crumble mix first. Dice the butter into small cubes. In a bowl, stir together the plain flour, the cinnamon and the 50 g demerara sugar. Lightly Rub the diced butter into this mix using your fingertips.
- next, make the cupcakes: beat the margarine in a bowl with an electric mixer until very soft, then add the demerara sugar and mix well for a couple of minutes until fluffy.
- Sift the flour and cinnamon together in a separate bowl.
- Add about one quarter of the beaten egg, along with a small spoonful of the sifted flour mix. Beat well until incorporated.
- Repeat the process, adding a quarter of the egg and a spoonful of flour at a time, and beating well between each of the additions, until all of the egg has been used up.
- Empty the jar of apple sauce into a deep bowl. Add the bicarbonate of soda to the apple, and mixwith a spoon. Be careful as it will fizz up!
- Spoon half of the apple sauce into the cake batter, and then add half of the remaining sifted flour. Fold gently in with a large metal spoon.
- repeat with the remainder of both the apple sauce and the flour.
- Distribute the cake batter equally amongst the paper cases in the fairy cake tins. Add a sprinkling of crumble mix to the top of each, pressing down very gently with your fingers.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until risen and golden. Leave them in the tins for abbout 5-10 minutes before very carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool. :) xxx