Apple-Cranberry Muffins

I’d promised myself I wasn’t going to make any more “sweet things” for awhile, then I realized the holiday season is almost upon us, and decided that perhaps “fewer sweet things” might be in order.   Then I saw the fresh cranberries at the store.

Now, to give me credit, I wanted the cranberries primarily for a fermented cranberry chutney – which promises to be absolutely delicious and is just a beautiful color, to boot – and to have some to freeze for later in the winter.  And I did both, but don’t you know there was just a cup of them sitting there, begging me to bake them into something with one of those beautiful Fuji apples next to it on the counter?

So I did.

These muffins are simply wonderful.  They are tart and sweet and moist and delicious – even The Young One ate one, and he’s pretty anti-muffin unless it’s chocolate.  They’re also one of the few baked goods that improves after they sit for awhile – I wouldn’t serve them hot; they tend to be a bit on the mushy side fresh out of the oven (why yes, I know that for a fact :P).  The texture improves a great deal as they cool, so I suggest letting them cool completely before serving.  If you can manage it, you might even want to make them the day before serving them (store them in an airtight container, of course).   They’ll still be quite good with a smear of soft butter, if you’re so inclined.

This would also be great baked in a loaf pan; just increase the baking time to 50 minutes or so.

Note:  You can substitute the evaporated cane juice with coconut sugar if you like, and cut the calorie and carb counts a little.  The only reason I didn’t use it was because I didn’t have any on hand.

Apple-Cranberry Muffins
Apple-Cranberry Muffins
Apple-Cranberry Muffins

Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tablespoons potato flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup evaporated cane juice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup ghee or clarified butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Generously grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and evaporated cane juice until well-blended.
  3. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, tapioca flour, potato flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir into the egg mixture in three batches, mixing well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Stir in the melted ghee, apple and cranberries.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the cups of the muffin tin and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Place on a wire baking rack and cool for 10 minutes before turning out of the pan. Cool completely before serving.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 177 calories, 9.1g total fat, 56.7mg cholesterol, 124.7mg sodium, 114.9mg potassium, 20.7g carbohydrates, 1.9g fiber, 12.4g sugar, 1.8g protein

 

The Harvest

It’s mid-October, and I am (more or less) done canning, freezing and otherwise preserving for the year.

Hallelujah.

I meant to take photos, I really did, but between the hectic work week and the demands of not only a high school senior but a 3-year-old grandson, I just didn’t have the time/inclination/wherewithal to drag my photography equipment into our rather poorly lit basement and set it all up into something resembling orderly.  Well, that’s not true; thanks to Beloved it’s all pretty well organized, but it’s spread out over several shelves and I just didn’t want to have to rearrange it all to make it easier to photograph.

The reason it’s all spread over several shelves (not to mention two boxes full of winter squashes) is because there’s tons of it down there:

  • 24 pints of barbecue sauce
  • 85 pints of tomato sauce
  • 20 half-pints of sweet corn
  • 65 pints of green beans
  • 6 half-pints rhubarb chutney
  • 28 pints of applesauce
  • 8 half-pints of apple butter
  • 10 half-pints of watermelon pickles
  • 20 pints garlic dill pickles
  • 10 pints of bread and butter pickles
  • 9 pints tomato salsa
  • 12 pints peach salsa
  • 7 pints pickled beets
  • 38 pints of chicken stock
  • 18 pints of beef stock
  • 12 pints turkey (yes, turkey)
  • 11 pints of lard

Again, that doesn’t even include the two large boxes of winter squash or the huge bag of frozen cubes of homemade tomato paste, the frozen sweet corn, the tallow we still have to render or the beef stock we will add to what’s already down there.  Nor does it take into account the two hogs, side of grass-fed beef and 36 chickens we’ve socked away in our freezer over the course of the year.

(My sister-in-law, Tough Yankee Broad – who is also slightly off her rocker and cans like a fool all late summer and early autumn – says she keeps her winter squashes in the basement until January, then cooks and cans whatever is left before they have a chance to go bad.  That sounds like a plan to me, and I’ll probably do the same this year – I may have the fortitude to drag out the pressure canner once again by then.)

If all this sounds like a lot of work, well, it is – we have done nothing but can every weekend for at least six weeks, and there were plenty of weeknight canning sessions, too.  All in all, we canned 4 bushels of tomatoes, 1 1/2 bushels of green beans, 1/2 bushel of apples and canned/froze 5 dozen ears of sweet corn.

There is an upside to this madness, of course; trust me – if there weren’t, we wouldn’t be doing it.

With the exception of the stocks and fats, which we process and can all year, all of this food will last us until next summer when we start the process all over again.  Since we’re fortunate enough to live where there are year-round farmer’s markets (our favorite will move indoors at the end of the month) and near at least two excellent natural food markets, we’ll continue to buy some seasonal produce, but our weekly food bill is going to drop dramatically until next spring.  We also have the advantage of knowing exactly where this food came from, what’s in it, and how it was processed and handled.

When we watch the news and see yet another report about food that’s been recalled – this time it’s shredded wheat cereal contaminated with metal shavings – all I can think of is how glad I am we don’t have to worry about that shit any more.

For more Autumnal Spins, visit Gretchen at Second Blooming.  She has a killer recipe for pumpkin bread, for the gluten-inclined.

Autumn in Ohio’s Farmlands

No RTT today; I’ve got one started, but I just haven’t had time to do the whole thing justice so it will just have to wait until next week.  We are VERY busy; lots going on at work this week and then Jolly and Little Guy will be in town visiting for about 10 days next week.  Right now I’m so tired I can barely stay awake (as I write this Monday night).

However, one day last week, Beloved (who can tell when I’m going stir crazy) suggested I take the afternoon off from work and take my camera for a spin in the country, which I did gladly.  Because, y’all, Autumn in Ohio’s farmlands can be a breathtaking sight.

Autumn in Ohio Farmlands

Autumn in Ohio Farmlands Again

Cornstalks

In a Graveyard

Driveway and Lamppost

Brown and Gold

Things Are Looking Up

Field O Grass

Have a lovely Autumn day, y’all.

Every Picture Tells a Story, or Spin Cycle – Part Deux

So, as promised, more pictures from our most recent visit to Hocking Hills State Park for the Photo Essay Spin Cycle.  Let’s just jump right in and get started, shall we?  (Click on any image to seen an enlargement.)

Going Up...And Up...And Up...

Most of our hikes through the park consisted of many stairs and paths going up.  And up.  And up…

Here Comes The Sun

But that’s okay, because it was lovely and sunny and cool all weekend long.

Blue Through The Trees

And the fall foliage was spectacular.

Cliffs

There were lots of cool rock formations,

Ferns

And plants that were still green.

Falls

Not to mention many picturesque waterfalls.

Boy on a Rock

There was much posing

My Fellas

by handsome men

Me and The Young One

and chubby women.

When we weren’t taking in nature

Burgers and Dawgs

there was a great deal of this

Side Dishes

and this

Orville Reddenbacher

and this.

Working

Unfortunately, there was also some of this.

Books

But also much relaxing with this

Fireplace

in front of this.

There was also much traumatizing of a teenage boy

by forcing him to take pictures of this…

Hot Tub Hi-jinks

…and the realization it’s now on the internet.

Yeah, the therapy won’t be cheap.

Travel Tip Thursday

While you’re at it, head over to Pseudonymous High School teacher’s blog for some Travel Tip Thursdays, as well.  Isn’t it always nice when you get a two-for-one?