This year one of our apple trees is having a break and doesn't have a single apple (last year it was laden with fruit) but two old apple trees are bowing gracefully under the weight of the tasty load. They are both eaters but quite sour at the moment, they will be much sweeter by the end of September. Every day Eddie and I go to the garden and pick the windfalls for crumbles and jelly.
September is a beautiful month, a perfect time for apples, pears and other fruit. And the blackberries are at their sweetest now. It's so much more fun to eat freshly picked berries than the supermarket varieties, and the bought berries never taste the same anyway.
OXO Tot UK has asked the bloggers to share a recipe using the September bounty. They asked:
"Fresh off the tree and perfectly ripe, September is the perfect month for apples, pears and blackberries, and we’d love to know how you prepare yours for the family. Crumble or pie; piled high in a bowl or hidden in a recipe, tell us what gets your little ones taste buds in a twist."
Today Eddie and I baked a batch of Apple and pine nuts cupcakes.
Apple and pine nuts cupcakes
Ingredients (makes 10 cupcakes)
2 medium apples
2 medium eggs
150g caster sugar
125ml semi-skimmed milk
80g butter, melted
250g self-raising flour
2tbsp (23g) ground almonds
20g white chocolate chips
40g pine nuts (approximate, I used less than half a pack of 100g)
Start by grating two apples (use coarse surface). Don't peel the apples, it will only add to the texture of the cupcakes. In a big bowl mix the grated apples, caster sugar and two eggs. Add the flour, ground almonds, milk, melted butter and chocolate chips (optional). Mix well.
The addition of the chocolate chips was my son's idea. As I was searching for the pine nuts, he grabbed the small bag with the remains of the white chocolate chips and begged me "Could we add those too, please, mama, please?" So, I added them.
Spoon the cake mix into the paper cupcake cases and sprinkle the pine nuts on top.
Place the muffin tin (I put the cupcake cases in the muffin tin so that they keep the shape rather than go flat) in the oven preheated to 180C and bake for about 20-25 minutes. The cupcakes should be golden brown in colour and well-risen.
They are very fluffy in texture, moist and sweet. We've already scoffed a few between the two of us. Soon my older son will be back at home, and I suspect these cupcakes won't be there for very long.
For this cooking challenge OXO lent me a helping hand by sending an OXO Good Grips Box Grater.
This kitchen gadget comes with four grating surfaces, which are perfect for grating the vegetables, fruit, cheese or even chocolate. The super-fine surface is just right for nutmeg and ginger, and the slicing surface is good for slicing cucumbers, courgettes etc (I haven't tried the slicing surface yet). The box grater stands on a box while you grate, so that it catches the grated food inside the container. There is a lid that you can use to close the container and store your grated ingredients.
Now, I am a messy cook, so as I was grating the apples, the grated bits ended up outside of the grater as well as inside (most of it was inside). If you are anything like me, grate on a very clean surface so that you can just pick up the bits and put them back in the container or put the box grater on a big plate.
Going back to our cupcakes, they are lush warm with a freshly brewed cup of tea. Enjoy!
Disclosure: I received an OXO Good Grips Box Grater to take part in this cooking challenge. All opinions and recipe ideas are mine.