Friday, February 8, 2019

Oratia Beauty Cupcakes (or muffins)

February is the month to celebrate our Slow Food Auckland heirloom apple Oratia Beauty.
These beautiful apples are available at the Dragicevich Orchard: 556 West Coast Rd, Oratia. I usually eat them raw or make cakes, but this time I made some cupcakes to take to the Slow Food Picnic at Waitantgi at Waititi

This is my very own cupcake recipe, which I adapt easily and frequently (to add fruit and/or other ingredients) and always works well. The outcome with apple is a bit of a 'muffin', thus the double name in the title of this post.

The doses below are for 12, but I doubled them for two tins of cupcakes (so about 8-10 apples, 220g butter, 6 eggs etc.). If your cupcake tin is for smallish cupcakes you may have some leftover mixture even with below doses, so scroll down for more ideas. 

Ingredients for 12 cupcakes/muffins

4-5 Oratia Beauty apples
40 ml water
10 ml lemon juice
120 g salted butter
3 eggs
130 g sugar
A few drops of pure vanilla essence (optional)
200 g self-rising flour
Granulated sugar for topping (optional, this in an Italian product, not sure if available in NZ, but it is not vital to the recipe!)

Preheat the oven to 175°C. 

Line a 12-muffin tray with cupcakes paper cups.

In the meantime place the water and lemon juice in a mixing bowl, peel and slice the apples and drop them directly into the lemony water.

Melt the butter in a jug, either in the microwave or in the oven (while the oven is warming up for the cupcakes). Place the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk, using an electric beater, until the mixture looks light and pale yellow in colour. Slowly add the melted butter and the vanilla essence, if using.

Keep beating at a low speed now; add half of the flour followed by half of the lemony water from the apples. Add the rest of the flour and water and keep beating making sure that there are no lumps. Fill some cupcakes paper cups with the mixture and top each one with two or three slices of apple. Sprinkle with granulated sugar 

Bake for about 18-20 minutes, until golden brown at the top. You can also check by inserting a toothpick into the cupcakes: if it comes out clean the cupcakes are ready. Remove the cupcakes from the tin and let them cool down. 

Because I double the doses to make two tins I also made a few plum cupcakes (basic recipe here) with Luisa and Black Doris Plums (also from the Dragicevich Orchard in Oratia) and, with still a little mixture left (when you use slices of fruit they do take space!), two heart shaped mini cakes (apple, plum and raspberry). 

And now the latest posies from Instagram, all flowers from my garden except the orchids (from Larsens Orchids in Oratia) 

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

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