I love apples. Not just the fruit but the story and emotion surrounding this gorgeous red fruit. Apart from the fact that it was the first fruit that had a story attached to it in kindergarten right through to middle school (hello Adam and Eve! Oh hi Snow White! Hey William Tell!), it was also the first fruit Nick and I shared more than two decades ago as we walked to the bus stop from college. He had an apple. I was hungry. He seemed reluctant to share it (maybe he was hungrier) but then whipped out a pocket knife and cut two chunky slices and shared them with me.
A few weeks later he cooked me something for the very first time. It was love over a forbidden fruit. And then there is the whole autumn and apple connection and childhood memories of watching too many Yogi bear cartoons and cartoon pies cooling on the sill and then annual trips to the apple orchards and getting really fond of cider. I do have apples on my mind.
When baked, they become something magical. For the past year or so I have been baking a breakfast muffin from this cookbook. Over many iterations, it has evolved and become more wholesome and hearty. I have made these nut free so it is easier to pack them in school lunches but we usually end up having them for breakfast at home and my backup muffins gets packed for school. The combination of apple and strawberry with a touch of lemon is just like an autumn pie especially when baked with coconut and spices for texture and flavour. You could sub regular flour for the spelt and swap coconut flour for almond meal or even desiccated coconut, basically whatever you may have on hand. These muffins bake nice and moist and don't go dry, which is why we love them so much.
If you try the recipe, let me know. You can rate it (when you comment) or tag me Instagram #cookrepublic to share your creation and feedback with me. Thanks!
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APPLE STRAWBERRY PIE MUFFINS
- 1 ¼ cups (185 g) wholemeal spelt flour
- ½ cup (60 g) coconut flour
- 2/3 cup (150 g) rapadura sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon mixed spice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
- pinch of salt
- grated zest of 1 small lemon
- 100 g butter, melted and cooled
- 3 organic eggs, approx. 60g each
- 180 ml water, room temperature
- 1 red apple, peeled, cored and cut into small cubes
- 8 strawberries, hulled and finely chopped
- 20 g rolled oats, to scatter
- extra rapadura sugar, to sprinkle
- Heat oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Line ten holes of a twelve hole standard muffin pan with paper cases.
- Place spelt flour, coconut flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, mixed spice, salt, vanilla and lemon zest in a large bowl. Toss gently to combine.
- In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a balloon whisk. Add butter and water. Whisk until smooth.
- Add the wet mix to the dry mix. Mix gently using a wooden spoon. Add apple and half of the strawberries. Mix gently until just combined.
- Spoon muffin batter equally into the paper cases. Top with remaining strawberries. Scatter oats and top with a sprinkling of rapadura sugar.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until cooked through and well risen. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.
- Muffins can be eaten warm with a dollop of butter. They can also be frozen for up to one month. They will keep in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.