Apples: From Farm to Table
This past weekend, my roommate and I were lucky enough to escape the city for a few hours. We hitched up our wagon and made for the farm. Located in Poolesville, Md., Homestead Farm is just a short ride from the city. They’ve got a pumpkin patch, apple orchards, a hay ride and a little market where they sell their own fresh produce. We could not have asked for a better day to take a trip to the pumpkin patch as there was not a cloud in the sky and it was the perfect backdrop to our day of fall fun.
We took a hay ride (my first ever) and were dropped off at the patch. I’ve never really identified myself as a “city girl,” but I don’t think I could have sounded more like a city slicker as I leaned over and asked my roommate “does someone just scatter the pumpkins around like that?” Nope, that’s where they grow. What can I say, we didn’t take very many trips to the pumpkin patch when I was a kid.
Speaking from experience, selecting any type of produce at the grocery store or on the farm is a perfectionist’s worst nightmare. After inspecting endless pumpkins, looking out for any dents or other imperfections, I made out with what I deemed a perfectly rotund pumpkin and we headed back to the main farm to pick our own apples. The only orchards with any fruit left were the Pink Lady trees. After filling our bucket, we trekked back to have everything weighed and were on our way back to the city.
Of course, we had to make something with our freshly picked fruit and to celebrate our harvest. I made these yummy apple pie muffins. Our apples literally went from farm to table (then to my rumbling stomach) in less than six hours. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.
Apple pie muffins
For the topping:
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into 8 pieces
- Cooking spray
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup natural applesauce
- 1 vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup 2 percent milk
- 3 small Pink Lady apples, peeled, cored and diced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a layer of cooking spray on your muffin tin and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together almonds, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add butter into the mixture and using your hands, incorporate until everything is combined. Place in the refrigerator.
- In a medium bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and salt.
- In a separate, larger bowl, combine the brown sugar and the oil. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the applesauce and vanilla.
- Mix in the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the milk. Add in the diced apples.
- Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pans and sprinkle on the topping. Bake for 25–30 minutes.
- Allow muffins to cool for 15 minutes (this is probably the most challenging step to follow when all you want to do is inhale said muffins). Remove the muffins, allow them to cool completely and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Ring Finger Tan Line.