Tag Archives: apple

Sparkly Applesauce Muffins

Sparkly Applesauce Muffins​

These Sparkly Applesauce Muffins are so easy and so good! They’re a perfect treat for transitioning from summer to fall, before everything is truly all pumpkin spice all the time…which will be next week on this website and also everywhere.

The batter is made with ingredients you likely already have at your disposal and comes together in a flash. Divide it into a muffin tin, filling each well up to the top, and then sprinkle on a thick (thick!) layer of sugar and pie spices before sliding them into the oven.

While baking, the muffins will dome dramatically. This is because of the baking powder and baking soda, of course, but also because the oven time begins with a blast of 425F heat that jumpstarts the rise. After five minutes, the temperature is reduced to 375F for the remaining time, yielding tender muffins with the most glorious sparkly, crackled tops!

Sparkly Applesauce Muffins​

Once the muffins are cool enough to handle, dig in! You’ll love the simple balance of pie spices and buttery apple flavor, and that’s to say nothing of the textures! The tops are crisp and crunchy, and the insides are sooo soft. Be forewarned that this perfect combination is fleeting, however, as the topping will start to melt in about a day. If you want to keep your applesauce muffins around for longer, bake them without the sugary flourish. There’s no need to miss out entirely though—you can still have the sparkling effect by painting the tops of the cooled muffins with butter and dipping them into the spiced sugar before serving.

Sparkly Applesauce Muffins​

I’m all about living in the solution, y’all! Especially when it means there’s a sparkling batch of applesauce muffins on my counter and yours.

Sparkly Applesauce Muffins​
Sparkly Applesauce Muffins
makes 12 muffins

Topping:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Muffin Batter:
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
~2/3 cup milk of choice, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly
1 cup (8 ounces) unsweetened applesauce

Preheat oven to 425F. Use muffin liners to line 12 cups in a standard muffin pan (or grease them well). Set aside.

Make the topping. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a liquid measuring cup or small mixing bowl, use a fork to whisk together vinegar and milk. Set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes, until curdled.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.

Whisk eggs into milk mixture one at a time, followed by melted butter and applesauce. Add half the liquid to the dry ingredients. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to stir ingredients together (15 strokes maximum). Add remaining liquid and stir to combine (15 strokes maximum). Batter will be thick.

Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, filling to the tops. Sprinkle a heaping teaspoon of the topping mixture onto each well of muffin batter. Tap full pan five times on the counter to release any air bubbles.

Bake muffins 5 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375F and bake another 15-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let muffins cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Serve immediately. Leftovers will keep covered at room temperature for up to a day. Sugar topping will degrade over time.

Apple & Pear Galette

Apple & Pear GaletteI don’t know why I’ve never thought to make a galette for Thanksgiving, but it feels like a gross oversight on my part.Apple & Pear GaletteGalettes are pie’s more chilled out cousins. They’re free-form, don’t require a pie plate or crimping, never need blind-baking, and you can put pretty much anything but custard inside. Easy easy easy, and positively perfect for a busy day like Thanksgiving. I’m mystified as to how I didn’t realize that until now–it’s so obvious!Apple & Pear GaletteToday’s galette is filled to the brim with sliced tart apples and sweet ripe pears, and it’s seasoned with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and nutmeg. I like to think of those spices as somewhere between regular apple pie and chai. Yum!Apple & Pear GaletteAssembling an Apple & Pear Galette is as simple as mounding your dough in the center of a piece of pie dough, folding the excess pastry toward the center, and dotting the whole thing with butter. Brush the exposed pie dough with egg wash, sprinkle it with coarse sugar for beauty and crunch, and then bake your galette for about 50 minutes at 375F. You’ll know it’s ready when the filling is bubbling, the pastry is well-browned and your kitchen smells outrageously good—like apples and pears and brown butter.Apple & Pear GaletteAnother thing galettes have over pies? They cool really quickly. I will pretty much never tell you to slice a pie before it has hit room temperature, which can take hours. Galettes though? They’re thin enough that they can be sliced at warm room temperature without any consequence. This beaut was sliced an hour after it came out of the oven, and the worst thing that happened was that it melted my ice cream slightly more quickly than it would have otherwise. And by worst thing, I mean a very good thing. Very good.Apple & Pear Galette

Apple & Pear Galette
makes 1 galette

2 large tart baking apples, peeled, 1/4-inch sliced
2 Bosc or Bartlett pears (about 7-8 ounces each), peeled, 1/4-inch sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 recipe All-Butter Pie Dough, or other good single crust recipe
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

For assembly:
1 large egg
1 teaspoon water
coarse sugar

For serving:
vanilla ice cream
whipped cream

Arrange oven racks in the upper and lower positions. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Combine apple and pear slices in a large mixing bowl. Add apple cider vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cornstarch, and salt. Stir together with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon and let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Roll pie dough out until it is 1/8-inch thick. Trim edges so that you have a 12-inch circle. Transfer to prepared pan. Mound filling in the middle of the dough, leaving at least 2 inches of excess on all sides. Fold dough over the sides of the filling to contain it. Dot exposed filling with butter.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water. Brush mixture on exposed pie dough. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake galette on the upper rack for 25 minutes. Move to the lower rack. Bake for 20-25 more minutes, tenting with foil if anything begins to brown too quickly. Crust will firm up as the galette cools.

Let galette cool completely in the pan on a rack. Remove to a cutting board. Slice and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Galette will keep covered at room temperature for two days, or in the refrigerator for up to four.

Apple & Pear GaletteApple & Pear Galette

Apple Turnovers

Apple TurnoversFull disclosure: I’m not posting any new Halloween recipes this year, but I did update my Candy Corn Cupcakes, so that’s something. Right? I don’t know. I’m just not a Halloween gal. I can’t help it. I did purchase some sparkly cat ears, but I’ve mentally moved on to November.Apple TurnoversI spent one morning last week loading my freezer with pie dough because—can you believe it—it’s almost time to talk about Thanksgiving food. Almost. Not yet. Don’t worry, I’m going to let Halloween happen before we discuss pie (!) and side dishes (!!!) and everything that goes with a teeny Thanksgiving fit for a pandemic (?????).Apple TurnoversAgain though—not yet. Not today, not Friday. But also, if you made these Apple Turnovers a part of your Thanksgiving dessert spread, I don’t think you’d have any complaints. Flaky pastry folded around perfectly-spiced apple filling? Oh hell yes. Pass ‘em my way, please.Apple TurnoversApple TurnoversBut why wait til Thanksgiving when you can have apple turnovers today? Or this weekend? Or on election night? I always like to have a cooking or baking project on election night to keep myself from spiraling, and that goes double this year. I pickled carrots in 2012 and made chili in 2016. Is 2020 the apple turnover election night? Maybe so.Apple TurnoversApple TurnoversI make turnovers approximately once every four years, which is ridiculous because they are incredibly simple. Truly, they’re hardly a recipe—just put some filling on a square of puff pastry, fold it over (ahem, “turn it over”) into a triangle, bake until brown, and then drizzle on a glaze. Whether you use homemade rough puff pastry or the thawed frozen stuff, these are one of the easiest homemade pastries out there, y’all.Apple TurnoversOh, and they’re so delicious—crisp, buttery, flaky and chock-full of apple filling. They’re a comfort pastry if I’ve ever had one. Is that a thing? Comfort pastries? It should be a thing. Let’s make it a thing.Apple Turnovers

Apple Turnovers
makes 6 turnovers

Apple Filling:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large baking apples, 1/4-inch diced
3 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon cornstarch (or flour)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)

Rough Puff Pastry:*
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
5 ounces (10 tablespoons) unsalted European-style butter, very cold, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup water or milk, very cold

Egg Wash:
1 large egg
1 teaspoon water

Glaze:
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
pinch of salt
2-3 teaspoons milk

Apple Filling and Rough Puff Pastry may be made a day in advance. Keep both tightly wrapped in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Make the Apple Filling. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add butter and swirl to melt. Add apples and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not mushy (about 8-10 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt. Stir in apple cider vinegar. Remove from heat and let filling cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Make the pastry. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Use a pastry blender or two forks to cut butter into dry ingredients until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Pour in cold water or milk and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Turn dough out onto surface, and use your hands to pat it into a rough rectangle. Roll the dough into an 8×10″ rectangle. Fold dough in thirds, and give it one quarter turn. Roll into an 8×10″ rectangle again, fold, and turn. Repeat rolling, folding, and turning until it has been done six times total. Wrap folded dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 48 hours.

Make the tart. Place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment.

Make egg wash. Combine egg and water in a small bowl and whisk together with a fork.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Unfold dough. Roll dough out to 10×14-inch rectangle. Slice into 6 squares.

Working with one square at a time, roll it into a 5-inch square. Place 2 slightly-heaping tablespoons of apple filling in the center. Paint two intersecting edges of each turnover with egg wash. Fold dough into half to seal. Use a fork to crimp the edge. Remove to prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough and filling, chilling for 15 minutes if dough becomes sticky or difficult with which to work.

Chill pan of turnovers for 10 minutes. Cut vents in each turnover. Brush all exposed pastry with egg wash. Bake 25-27 minutes or until golden. Let cool on the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Make glaze. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together confectioner’s sugar, salt and 2 teaspoons milk. Add more milk by the 1/2 teaspoon until the desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over cooled turnovers. Glaze should set after 20 minutes.

Turnovers are best the day they are made, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Pastry will soften over time.

Note:

If you do not wish to make the Rough Puff Pastry, you may use one sheet of frozen all-butter puff pastry that you have thawed according to package directions.Apple TurnoversApple TurnoversApple Turnovers

Apple Pie

Apple PieI’ve somehow blogged my way through five Thanksgivings without ever posting an apple pie. There was one Cranberry Apple Pie that got a little toasty on top, a couple of apple cakes, some shortbread bars and even Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls, but a mile-high, nicely spiced Apple Pie has never made it into my Thanksgiving Recipe line-up until right now. I think it was worth the wait.Apple PieI kind of feel like I should preface this recipe by saying that I know there are a million and a half apple pie recipes and that this is nothing revolutionary, but

  1. screw that.
  2. when is homemade apple pie anything other than revolutionary?Apple Pie

I mean, look at this golden, lattice-domed thing! It’s stuffed to the gills—there are 4.5 pounds of apples in there! They’re a mix of Granny Smith, Gala and Honeycrisp, so there are a variety of flavors and textures, but they are all delicious baked between two layers of All-Butter Pie Dough.Apple PieApple PieIn terms of flavoring, there’s all sorts of good stuff in here. The apples are tossed in a mixture of granulated sugar, light brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar before being left to macerate (sit and release liquid) for an hour. After that, a mixture of ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves is stirred in, along with some cornstarch for thickening and salt for balance. Mmhmm.Apple PieApple PieThe filling—accumulated liquid and all—is piled high into a pie crust before being topped with another crust. I went for a classic lattice and a couple of braids here, but feel free to do a whole top crust (make sure to cut some vents!) or whatever makes you happy. Then brush that thing with egg wash, sprinkle it with coarse sugar and bake the crap out of it.Apple PieApple PieWhen you read through this recipe, you’ll notice that there are a lot of pauses and chills and that this pie bakes for more than an hour. Pie takes time, y’all. There’s no way around it. If I wrote a chill in there, it’s because I think it’s important. I don’t want to put anymore time between you (or me!) and that first slice than absolutely necessary.Apple PieAs for baking, this pie is a bit of a diva, but aren’t they all?! In apple pie’s case, you’ll need to preheat a rimmed baking sheet when you heat the oven. This serves two purposes: protecting your oven floor from overflow and helping ensure that the bottom crust doesn’t wind up completely raw. Also, this pie starts baking at 400F for fifteen minutes and finishes at 375F for 50-60 more. It’s a long time, but this is a big pie! Try to be patient, and don’t forget to tent with foil as necessary. You want that golden top!Apple PieApple PieI promise all this work will be worth it when you slice this thing up. Homemade apple pie always is.Apple Pie

Apple Pie
makes one 9-inch pie

Filling:
10 medium baking apples or about 4.5 lbs (I used a mix of Granny Smith, Gala and Honeycrisp)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt

Pie Crust:
1 recipe All-Butter Pie Dough or other good double crust recipe, divided

Egg Wash & Garnish:
1 large egg
1 teaspoon water
coarse sugar

Prepare the apples. Peel and core apples and slice in 1/8-inch slices. Place pieces in a large mixing bowl and toss with vinegar, sugar, and brown sugar. Let sit 1 hour at room temperature, tossing occasionally, so they can release some liquid.

Prepare the bottom crust. Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Roll one disk of pie dough out to a 14-inch diameter. Fit it in a pie plate, trim any overhang to 1-inch. Crimp as desired. Freeze for 30 minutes.

Prepare the top crust. Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Roll one disk of pie dough out to a 14-inch diameter. Slice in strips or carefully fold in quarters (depending what kind of top crust you’d like), wrap loosely in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until needed.

Once the apples’ time has elapsed, add cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt, and toss to combine. Transfer filling (including all accumulated liquid) to prepared bottom crust. Use refrigerated prepared top crust to either create a lattice or cover completely and cut a few vents. Freeze for 20 minutes.

Place an oven rack in the lowest position. Place a rimmed baking sheet on that rack. Preheat oven to 400F.

Make the egg wash. Combine egg and water in a small bowl and whisk together with a fork. Use a pastry brush mixture over all exposed crust. Sprinkle coarse sugar over the top.

Bake the pie. Place pie on hot baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375F and bake another 50-60 minutes until crust is golden and fruit is cooked but not mushy. Loosely tend with foil at the 30 minute mark, or if anything begins to brown too quickly.

Use rimmed baking sheet to remove pie from the oven. Place on a cooling rack and allow to cool for a minimum of 4 hours before slicing and serving.

Pie will keep covered at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to five.Apple PieApple PieApple Pie

Apple Cider Coffee Cake

Apple Cider Coffee CakeIt’s no secret that I don’t like Halloween. I’m ambivalent about wearing costumes and if I’m going to eat candy, I’d like for it to be full-sized.

Apple Cider Coffee CakeThat’s not to say I haven’t participated in the festivities as an adult. Just last year, my friend, VJ, showed up at my apartment with a panda costume. She was dressed as a unicorn. On our way to a party, we somehow got on the one car of the R train where literally nobody else was in costume. “So a panda and a unicorn get on the subway…”

Halloween We went outside like this.

Long story short, I’m skipping the Halloween treats this year. If you aren’t, I recommend these, these, and these (please forgive the terrible photos on that last link).

Apple Cider Coffee CakeInstead, I’m putting my energy toward dreaming up and making excellent “company” breakfasts, i.e. the sort of dessert-masquerading-as-breakfast that is socially accepted when you have a house full of guests in November and December. Cinnamon rolls are a common choice for such occasions, but I recommend you save those for another day and make this Apple Cider Coffee Cake instead. It’s faster, doesn’t involve fiddling with yeast, and has two layers of that crunchy crumb that everyone loves.

Apple Cider Coffee CakeThe base of this coffee cake is basically a souped up muffin batter. I started with my Orange Pecan Muffin recipe and then made a few changes. I swapped the oil for butter, the yogurt for sour cream, and the milk for an apple cider reduction. Oh, and I threw in some pie spices and chunks of tart apple. Flavor all over the place, y’all.

Apple Cider Coffee CakeLet’s talk about that apple cider reduction. It’s an easy way to get big flavor! This is the base of flavor in this recipe, so make sure to use quality apple cider–the refrigerated stuff, not the shelf-stable variety. Pour two cups of it into a saucepan, bring it to a simmer over medium-high heat, and let it go. This will take 20-30 minutes; I recommend checking the amount every ten minutes. Once it’s at 2/3 cup, let it cool to room temperature so it doesn’t melt your butter or scramble the egg. This is a very hands-off task, but if it seems like a little too much, you can do this step a day in advance and then refrigerate the reduction until you’re ready to use it.

Apple Cider Coffee CakeApple Cider Coffee CakeEnough about batter though. Coffee cake crumb topping is where it’s at! It’s crispy, crunchy cinnamon-brown sugar magic–the perfect foil for that rich, appley cake. The crumb recipe I use here is the same one from my Cranberry Crumb Pie. It comes together super quickly and easily and…well, I’m totally crazy about it.

Apple Cider Coffee CakeTo assemble the cake, butter a springform pan and line it with parchment. If you don’t have a springform, you may bake this cake in a deep (!) 9-inch cake pan. Dividing it into two loaf pans may work too, but I haven’t tried it. Let me know if you do!

Apple Cider Coffee CakeLayer the ingredients into the pan, starting with half the batter. Top it with half of the crumb. Then more batter, then more crumb. Bake it for nearly an hour, until the top is nice and golden.

Apple Cider Coffee CakeLet the cake cool completely in the pan before releasing the springform and dusting it with confectioner’s sugar.

Apple Cider Coffee CakeInvite a friend or two over, put on a pot of coffee, and slice up the cake!

Apple Cider Coffee CakeYou are going to love the combination of rich, buttery apple cider cake and the almost meltingly-soft chunks of apple, not to mention the craggy crumb 😍 I’ve made two of these this week and I know there will be many more before 2017 is over.

Can’t. Get. Enough.Apple Cider Coffee Cake

Apple Cider Coffee Cake
makes one 9-inch round cake

Batter:
2 cups apple cider
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
3/4 cup full-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large tart baking apple, peeled &1/2-inch diced (I used Granny Smith)

Crumb:
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes

Garnish:
1-2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

Pour apple cider into a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat for 20-30 minutes, until reduced to 2/3 cup. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Make the crumb. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour in vanilla. Add butter. Use your hands (or a pastry blender) to work butter into dry ingredients until a clumpy but homogenous mixture forms. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter. Line with parchment. Grease parchment with butter. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until fluffy. Mix in egg, apple cider reduction and sour cream; mixture may be a bit lumpy. Add dry ingredients in two installments, mixing just until combined. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold in apple pieces.

Pour half the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Top with half the crumb. Pour in the remaining batter and sprinkle with the last of the crumb. Place full pan on a baking sheet and bake 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool completely in the pan on a rack. Run a thin, flexible knife around the edge of the pan before releasing the springform. If you’d like, invert the cake and remove the parchment before placing on a serving platter. Sift confectioner’s sugar over the top. Serve.

Leftover cake will keep well at room temperature for up to two days, or in the refrigerator for up to five.

Apple Cider Coffee Cake