Apple Pie Cupcakes

apple pie cupcakes  scarletscorchdoppers.com

Delicious cupcakes filled with a caramelised spiced apple pie filling, and topped with a smooth cream cheese icing. With an extra sprinkle of cinnamon, they’re perfect for autumn. 

apple pie cupcakes 2  scarletscorchdroppers.com

It seems like the internet has been over run with apple picking. Some of my favourite blogs have gone apple mad, taunting me with autumn.

My favourite apple post so far comes from My Name is Yeh. Molly’s apple picking pictures are dreamy. They make me long for an apple picking party. I wouldn’t say no to joining in with Molly’s incredible looking apple picking picnic either. Who wouldn’t want to sit under an apple tree in cosy jumpers tucking into cheese and sprinkle cake?

apple pie cupcakes 3  scarletscorchdroppers.com

For those of you who have managed to do a little apple picking, here’s a recipe for you.

The warm flavours of an apple pie are quintessentially autumnal. Apple pie is for those October Sundays when the weather isn’t nice outside, forcing you into long lazy days spent inside. Mornings spent in pyjamas and cosy socks. A late lunch, filing up on roast potatoes and cauliflower cheese, leaving just a little space for pudding. On these days nothing can be better than a big bowl of apple pie, piping hot from the oven, swimming in lashings of thick, creamy custard.

 These cupcakes have all the flavours of apple pie. As you bite into the cakes you’re greeted with their surprise; a mouthful of smooth, sweet caramelised apple pie filling. They’re very simple to make, but the secret apple filling is a delicious little twist.

apple pie cupcakes 4  scarletscorchdroppers.com

The delicious little cupcakes are made with brown sugar. I love to use brown sugar in my autumn and winter recipes. It brings a little more richness and depth, and adds subtle caramel flavours.

The centre of each cupcake is hollowed out a little and filled with a generous scoop of  caramelised apple and cinnamon pie filling. The filling is made by gently simmering down apples with sugar, water and cinnamon. The apples soften a little, but still retain some bite and crunch. The sauce is thickened with cornflour, making it sticky and jammy. Be careful not to go overboard with your cornflour though, adding too much will turn it quickly from delightfully gooey to disgustingly gluey.

They’re topped with a generous layer of cream cheese icing, with a sprinkle of cinnamon to finish. I love the combination of apple and cinnamon, its such a simple, classic pairing.

apple pie cupcakes 5  scarletscorchdroppers.com

Apple Pie Cupcakes

Ingredients

(makes 8)

for the cake batter

120g butter

120g soft brown sugar

2 large eggs

100g  plain flour (all purpose)

1 teaspoon baking powder

4 tablespoons milk

for the filling

2 small apples

2 tablespoons soft brown sugar

6 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cornflour (corn starch)

for the icing

120g butter, softened to room temperature

280g cream cheese, softened to room temperature

300g icing sugar

extra cinnamon, for dusting

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160 fan/ 350F.

Line a cupcake tray with 8 paper cases.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and soft.

Add in 1 egg, along with a tablespoon of flour, and beat to combine. Repeat with the second egg and another tablespoon of flour.

Fold in the remaining flour and baking powder, followed by the milk.

Divide the mixture evenly between 8 cupcake cases.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until well risen, golden, and firm to the touch.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

While they cool, make the filling.

Peel, core and finely chop the apples.

Put them in a pan with the brown sugar, water and cinnamon. Heat over a gently heat until the apples are slightly softened, and most of the water has gone.

In a separate cup, mix the cornflour with a tablespoon of water.

Add the cornflour slowly to the pan and mix over a low heat until the remaining liquid has thickened. NOTE – you may not need all your cornflour mixture, add it in slowly until the sauce has just thickened, too much will make the apples gluey and goopey.

Remove from the heat.

Using a sharp knife, core out a hollow into the centre of each cupcake. The hole needs to be big enough to fit a generous teaspoon of the apple mixture.

Fill each hole with the apple mixture.

Next, make the icing.

Beat together the butter and cream cheese until soft and free of lumps. Sift in the icing sugar and mix until combined.

Spread on top of your cakes, ensuring the apple centre is fully covered.

Sprinkle with cinnamon to finish.

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Eating our way home: Cambodia

Our second time in Cambodia only stood to reinforce what we thought the last time we visited (which you can read about here, here, and here); We love this country. We love the people, the countryside, the beer. We love the food. Fresh flavours, less aromatic and more hearty than that of their Thai neighbours.

We covered a lot of ground in a short time, a grand sweep bringing us in from the Thai border in the North West of the country, right around the southern coast, and out again from the North East into Laos.

Roads in Cambodia aren’t great. The better, sealed roads, are still made up of single lanes of traffic catering to cars, motorbikes, tuk tuks, bicycles, buses and farm machinery. With multiple overtaking happening simeltaneously, progress is slow. The bad roads hardly exist anymore, instead traffic eases its way steadily along something more resembling muddy swamps. We spent many hours on buses, eating on the road. Pork rice by the bus station in Phnom Pehn, eaten hastily between buses and washed down with iced tea. Pineapple cut into chunks with quick heavy blows and eaten with a skewer from a plastic bag. Fat steamed dumplings, piping hot and deliciously savoury, filled with pork, egg and chives.

Steamed buns, Cambodia // scarletscorchdroppers.com

Steamed buns with pork // cambodia // scarletscorchdroppers.com

We watched the produce change as we moved through the country. The bright green oranges of Battambang towards the North, corn cobs and sugar cane juice in the south, gourds and pumpkins towards the Laos border. Everywhere rice. Bright green fields rippling in the breeze. Women bent double harvesting the fields, cutting the crop into fat bundles. In a little village near the Bamboo Railway children clamour over one another to show us around the rice factory. Grabbing handfuls of rice from sacks they show us the different grades of grain; this one for cooking, this one for the pigs, this one for chicken and fish. Passing through villages we glimpse what else is on offer. Crusty bauguettes, a legacy of the French, are pilled high in every village. Eaten as they are, or spilt open and filled with meats, pates and fresh herbs. Long strings of dried sausages, strung across a pole, hung in a thick curtain in the sun. Shallow wicker baskets filled with deep fried spiders, a speciality of the town of Skone. Needless to say we declined these little treats.

Roadside snacks, Cambodia // scarletscorchdroppers.com

 Reaching the south of the country we headed for Kampot, a sleepy town sitting on the river. We took a tuk tuk out through lush rice fields and sugar cane plantations into the surrounding countryside. On the way children stopped to call out hello. We visited the Starling Pepper farm. Kampot is famous for its pepper, once the only product to grace the most fashionable tables in Paris. Pepper plants grew in endless rows up brick stacks. The crop was green pepper, harvested before maturity and eaten fresh. We pulled some from the vines to try, and chewed on the mild, citrusy spice.

Kampot Pepper, Cambodia // scarletscorchdroppers.com

Kampot, Cambodia // scarletscorchdroppers.com

In Kep, famous for crab, we tucked into seafood. A bustling crab market is set up by the waterfront. In the evenings women wade out to pull in the baskets from the sea, the sun setting behind them casting an orange glow across the waves. The sort through the baskets, pulling out dozens of blue legged crabs. The air is thick with the smell of charcoal grills and barbecued seafood. Fat fish are lashed to sticks, their skins crackling and splitting. Lines of crab turn from grey to vivid red over the heat, squid in every size sizzle and hiss. Crab shacks line the seafront, cooking up the catch of the day.

Seafood in Kep, Cambodia // scarletscorchdroppers.com

crab fishing in kep, cambodia // scarletscorchdroppers.com

crab in kep // scarletscorchdroppers.com

 beer in cambodia // scarletscorchdroppers.com