Thursday, October 6, 2011

Behind A Bit ..

I've been behind a bit ... behind a bit in marking, behind a bit in planning, behind a bit in my program .. and behind a bit in sharing this cake and these muffins with you. That's September for me: a bit of a blur. But the long weekend is here and it's time to catch up. I know everyone is posting yummy Thanksgiving (or at my school, it's referred to as Turkey Day) recipes with pumpkins and cranberries and stuffing and turkey. And I'm proud to say that I have a bag of Canadian cranberries and a beautiful sugar pumpkin all ready to be turned into tasty things. I promise a more festive and seasonal post very soon.

For now, I'd love to quickly share with you this very delicious treat -- two of them actually, depending on what you choose. Remember way back when Jacqui at So Good and Tasty made this apple and blackberry pie? Or when kickpleat at Everybody Likes Sandwiches made these blackberry and peach shortbread bars? It was right around the time that Meagan at A Sweet Spoonful was made a cake with fresh corn and raspberries while Heidi at 101 Cookbooks was making a nice berry pie. Summer was merging into fall. Mornings were getting crisper, berries were fading slowly and apples were beginning to show up. I thought I would get to pie-making this summer, but I didn't. Not even a tart. But that's alright. I made great use of the in-between fruits in these apple blackberry muffins / loaf with crisp topping. Let me explain.

I loved loved loved the apple blackberry pie that Jacqui made, so much that I almost -- yes almost got it together and rolled out the crust and everything. But for reasons that are beyond me and none too good, I didn't. I did use the very same fruits: the season's first apples --the ginger gold that obsessed over, and exiting season's last berries. I also used spelt flour and flakes, which gave these treats a very nutty, rich flavour. The muffins were perfect weekday take-to-work-pick-me-up-at-three-o-clock treats, but the loaf was really something special. Moist, fruit-studded, sweet and the crisp topping blew me away. It's something about that spelt ..

Anyway, I was supposed to keep it quick, so here's the recipe. I know that blackberries are gone now, but apples are in full swing. Frozen berries would be totally fine, or you could skip the berries and add another apple. You could even use a few chopped cranberries! Whatever you do, don't skip the spelt!

Apple Blackberry Spelt Muffins / Loaf
makes one small loaf and 12 mini muffins

For the muffins and loaf:

1 cup of spelt flakes
1/2 cup of milk (any kind .. I used soy)
1/4 cup of yogurt
1/4 cup of honey
2 tablespoons of canola oil
1 egg, beaten
1 large apple, grated
1 cup of spelt flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
a large handful of blackberries

For the crisp topping:
*I only put the crisp topping on the loaf, but if you wanted it for the muffins as well, just double

1/4 cup of spelt flakes
1/4 cup of whole wheat flour
1/4 cup of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of canola oil

1. Make the topping by mixing together the spelt flakes, flour and sugar until well combine. Add the canola oil and, using a fork, work it into the mixture until it resembles a coarse meal. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the spelt flakes, milk, yogurt, honey, and canola oil. Let it stand for 10 minutes

3. Add in the beaten egg and grated apples and mix well. Sift in the flour and baking soda and mix until just combined. Carefully mix in the blackberries.

4. Fill your muffin tins with some of the mixture and pour the rest into a loaf pan. Sprinkle your crisp topping over top. Bake in a 350 degree oven. The muffins should only take about 15 minutes. The loaf should take about 45 minutes, or until the topping in a deep golden brown and a cake tester inserted comes out clean.

5. Let you loaf cool to room temperature before serving. If you try to cut it right away (like I did!), it will be too wet in the middle and you'll think it's not cooked -- but it is! Just be patient and let it rest. Enjoy!


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