Tag Archive for 'apples'

Savory Pumpkin Crumble

It feels like a small eternity since my last post, and the person who threw away this recipe is partly to blame. I was so upset for having lost it and close to giving up my search, when I found it in the trash can of the bathroom. Who knows how it got there and what exactly made me look in there, but I am so relieved for having found it.

I made this crumble last week and while eating it, I said to my family that this is the recipe I want to be famous for. I had searched google forever to find a good savory pumpkin crumble recipe, but found mostly desserts and a few savory recipes that I didn’t really fancy. So I came up with this and I was so surprised and excited at the result that I made the above-mentioned, self-glorifying remark. You see, it doesn’t always work this way. I spend many hours in the kitchen experimenting, with frequent mediocre results. I usually keep trying until I am satisfied, but it takes a lot of time, patience, good will from the family and money. So when I get something right straight away (actually it was the second try in this case) I am thrilled.

Crumble until recently has meant dessert for me, usually with apples, rhubarb, berries or a combination of all. My mother-in-law taught me the basics years ago, which is flour, oats, brown sugar and butter. Simple, yet delicious. Since I am a nut-lover, I have alwyas added chopped almonds to this and experimented with walnuts, pine nuts, dairy- and sugar free versions, but the traditional version is still the best.

Last year, I have learned something invaluable from 101 Cookbooks. If you melt the butter before adding it to the dry ingredients, mix it all up and then put the mixture in the freezer for 30 minutes, you get the crunchiest crumble topping. This method also allows for less butter with the same fabulous effect. So now instead of using one stick butter (113g) I use only 2/3 of it. I am so happy with this new technique, I might never go back to the dairy-free option.

So go ahead and try this. I would love to hear what you thought of the crumble. Don’t be shy…

Continue reading ‘Savory Pumpkin Crumble’

Cranberry Apple Muffins

This is one of those recipes I have made for years now. They are my oldest son’s (Nicholas) favorite muffins. Morning Glory – look of disappointment, banana walnut – not already again, carrot ginger – please no veggies in my muffin, are the responses I get from him for any muffin other than these. It’s hard to make everyone happy!

I use frozen cranberries all year around, but fresh should work just fine. They contain A LOT of FRUIT, so if you want more muffin than fruit, use a little less.

This batter can also be used to make a delicious cake. Put 3/4 of batter without fruit into 8 or 9 inch (20 – 22.5 cm) round greased baking tin and top with fruit. Put remaining dough in small dollops on top of fruit and sprinkle almond-sugar mixture over it. Bake for 50-60 min. until wooden toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 12


  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or 1 cup whole and 1 cup white spelt flour)
  • 1/2 cup finely ground almonds
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/3 cup almond, olive or coconut oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen cranberries


  • 1 tablespoons ground or slivered almonds
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar



Preheat oven to 350F (180C).

Place apples and cranberries in small pot. Cover and cook on low heat until apples have slightly softened and cranberries are defrosted, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from stove.

Sift together flours, almonds, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix buttermilk (or yogurt), egg, apple sauce, oil, maple syrup (or sugar) and vanilla extract. Pour into dry ingredients and gently mix to combine. Do not over-mix, mixture can be a bit lumpy. Fold in apples and cranberries.

Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cups. Spoon batter into cups. The muffins will rise, but hold their shape pretty well, so spoon as much batter in each cup as it can hold.

Mix remaining almonds and sugar and sprinkle on top of muffins.

Bake for 25 minutes or until wooden toothpick comes out clean.

A Great Start

About a month ago I taught my first ever cooking class. The theme was ‘breakfast’ and what we call in Australia ‘morning tea’. It all happened in my own kitchen, which I had scrubbed and polished for an entire day. Six friends, who are eager to explore a healthier way to cook, were my “guinea pigs”. Within minutes of their arrival, they turned my kitchen (my sanctuary, my refuge…) into buzzing chaos. They paired up in twos and started to measure, chop, whisk and bake, waisting no time. For 2 hours  we worked hard, talked about everything from picky eaters (mostly husbands and a few kids) to the best places to shop for groceries and had a bit of champagne in between. Thankfully, except for one baking tray full of black, unrecognisable lumps, everything turned out delicious,. We spent the last hour eating through piles of pancakes, muffins, cookies and more and when nothing was left to eat, we probably all felt very full rather than healthy. Everybody went home excited to try something they learned in their own kitchen and from what they told me, once they did, their families were eager for more. What a great start to a new chapter in my life!

 German Apple Pancakes

These pancakes are baked in the oven and come out raised and fluffy. I first came across a version of these not while growing up in Germany, but when looking through my collection of Martha Stewart Kids magazines. I tried to make them a bit healthier, as I usual do with her recipes (despite my respect and total adoration for this woman), added whole grain flour, took away some of the sugar and swapped most of the butter for canola oil. I made mine with pears and they came out super tasty. They have become my children’s favourite weekend breakfast.

The sautéed apples/pears are also great as a side dish for plain pancakes or for desert over vanilla ice-cream.




1/3 cup whole spelt flour

1/3 cup white spelt flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large crisp apples, (pears work well, too)

3 eggs

3 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons brown sugar, divided

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup buttermilk

confectioners’ sugar for dusting


This recipe makes 6 pancakes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees (225 C). Brush each muffin cup with canola oil; coat with extra brown sugar. Peel, core and slice each apple into twelve wedges, then cut each wedge into three pieces. Toss with 2 teaspoons brown sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and sauté, turning occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes, until caramelized. Remove pan from stove; let cool 5 minutes. Divide the caramelized apples among the muffin cups.

Put flours, baking soda, salt, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, canola oil, eggs, and buttermilk in the bowl. Whisk until batter becomes smooth and runny. Pour batter over apples. Place tin in oven and lower heat to 400 degrees (200 C). Bake 15-17 minutes. Pancakes will puff up during last 5 minutes of baking.

Take tin from oven and remove pancakes with a fork. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.