What better way to make the most of apple season than with these delicious Caramelised Apple and Maple Syrup Muffins? Sweetened with maple syrup instead of refined sugar and with a warming hint of cinnamon, they’re super easy to make too. By Ketta Shimmin.
When I was a little girl, my parents had an allotment, which provided a wealth of interesting and varied vegetables. Despite being pretty horrifying to a 10 year old (being all vegetably and not in the slightest bit sugar-laden or processed) I did learn a lot about food, where it comes from and how nature is both perfect and imperfect simultaneously.
I learned that broccoli is the home of aphids that they are impossible to wash out completely. I learned that the Jerusalem artichokes that we found growing in the soil, a remnant of the previous owner’s efforts that survived the digging and rotavating that took place as we took ownership, have a spectacular and explosive effect on the digestive system. I learned that leatherjackets (cranefly larvae) love potatoes and can often be found inside when preparing them. I learned that carrot fly can decimate a crop very quickly and that even planting them between rows of onions doesn’t seem to make a difference.
I learned that I definitely only liked beetroot pickled in a jar and whether the spinach we grew was spinach beet (chard) or regular spinach, it still tasted absolutely awful. The main thing I learned though, is that with my dad in charge, you’d better like eating runner beans and courgettes which we grew in industrial quantities. My father recalls my first forays in the kitchen (once I’d moved on from cheese scones), making courgette fritters which left the kitchen looking like the horsemen of the apocalypse had arrived and came armed with batter…
Gluts of vegetables and fruit at harvest time are something that I never experience these days thanks to Mr. Ocado and I was delighted, and slightly nostalgic, to be presented with two huge bags of apples by a friend with an orchard. After making a couple of apples crumbles, apple pies and numerous bags of stewed apples for the freezer, I started wondering about more interesting ways to use them up.
Inspired by a tarte tatin I made one Sunday lunchtime, this muffin recipe has been used for breakfast, after school snacks and even pudding – the added bonus is it freezes well so you can double up the quantities and work through that enormous pile of apples!
This recipe for Caramelised Apple and Maple Syrup Muffins makes 12 muffins and when cooked, they keep well for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Pop into a pre-heated oven for a few minutes to freshen up if necessary.
- 250g plain flour
- 100g caster sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch salt
- 2 apples (eaters or cookers), peeled, cored and diced
- 50 ml maple syrup
- 80 ml vegetable oil
- 100 ml whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 25g unsalted butter
- 25g caster sugar
- 2 eating apples peeling, cored and diced
- handful of porridge oats
- Demerara sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400F/200C/180C (fan)/Gas Mark 6
- Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl using a balloon whisk to ensure they’re properly mixed. Add the apple chunks last - ensure they’re well coated in flour so they disperse throughout the muffin
- In a separate jug or batter bowl, mix together the wet ingredients until combined
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined (do not over mix or the muffins will be too dense)
- Using an ice cream scoop (if available) for evenly-sized muffins, scoop the mixture into the muffin cases in the tin
- At this point you can pop a sprinkle of Demerara sugar and a few oats on top and place in the preheated oven for around 25 minutes until risen and golden.
- Heat the remaining butter and sugar in a non-stick frying pan until melted together, add the apple chunks and cook, stirring frequently, for around 8-10 minutes until the apples look glossy and caramelised and the sauce is sticky
- Carefully (it’s really hot!), spoon a few chunks of apple onto each muffin and finish with a sprinkle of Demerara sugar (or caster sugar)and porridge oats before popping in the oven and baking (as above)
- Once cooked, place on a wire rack to cool
- These muffins keep well for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Pop into a pre-heated oven for a few minutes to freshen up if necessary.
Ketta Shimmin is the founder of Flossie Pops Cakery, a bespoke cake business located in the beautiful Weald of Kent, and a regular contributor to Meals Our Kids Love! She lives with her husband Rob, daughters Evie, Floss and Clara, and naughty cocker spaniel, Bailey. Read more about Ketta on our About page.