Even though Summer does not officially begin until later in June, after a cold wet Spring everyone is ready to embrace the warmer temperatures. Day by day, the weather is steadily getting warmer (here in NM it is already very hot), schools are letting out, and people are outside gardening and grilling, getting ready to enjoy the long lazy afternoons ahead, lounging in the shade with a glass of lemonade, a good book, and dessert.
Muffins and cupcakes are the sort of recipe that pretty much anyone can make. They are simple and easily adapted to include whatever ingredients you happen to have on hand. The idea for an apple pie variation was a natural one, considering that apple pie is just one of those desserts that nearly everyone enjoys; how could you not?
In this particular recipe, the apples are deliciously paired with lemon, cinnamon and ginger, adding a complex sweet, sour, spicy flavor to the muffins, completely mimicking the very best apple pie in taste and texture. While usually associated with cold snowy evenings around mid-Winter, Christmas and Thanksgiving meals, apple pie is truly a dessert that can be enjoyed all year long, especially with the addition of lemon rind in these muffins, adding a bright fresh flavor perfect for early Summer. The small pieces of soft, slightly baked apple mixed throughout, only enhance the wonderful flavor and aroma. Try them for yourself, and taste the wonderful results.
Summertime Apple Pie Muffins
- 2 organic apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 2 cups gluten free flour, consisting of: 1/2 cup tapioca flour, 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/2 cup sweet rice flour, 1/2 cup chestnut flour
- 1/2 tsp. guar gum
- 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 Tbsp. butter, melted
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 6 Tbsp. sucanat
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. rose water
- 3 Tbsp. water
- Juice of one organic lemon
- Rind of one organic lemon
- 1 Tbsp. honey
Step 1: Peel, core, and finely chop the apples into small pieces. Place in a bowl with 1/2 tsp of the cinnamon, ginger, 2 Tbsp. of the sucanat, 1 Tbsp. of honey, and 1 tsp. of the lemon juice. Mix until thoroughly coated.
Step 2: Peel the lemon, making sure to only remove the yellow outer rind. Mince the lemon peel finely with a knife.
Step 3: In a small pot, combine the finely minced lemon peel, the rest of the lemon juice, water, rose water, and 2 Tbsp. of sucanat. Heat until it just begins to bubble and thicken, making sure not to let it burn. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Step 4: In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients, the remaining 2 Tbsp. of sucanat, and the extra 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon. Slowly add the egg, melted butter, coconut milk, stirring to lightly incorporate. Now add the lemon peel mixture, along with the chopped spiced apples. Mix everything thoroughly until a moist batter forms, and no flour is visible.
Step 5: Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
Line muffin pan with paper liners, and fill each one to nearly 3/4 full with the batter. These muffins do not rise very much, so fill each cup to only slightly less than the desired result. Bake the muffins in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until lightly golden brown, and slightly springy when pressed. Remove from the oven, and let cool.
Another great variation would be to break one of these muffins in half, place it in a dessert bowl, and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Absolutely delicious!