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The blog, Dave, and I are going on vacation for the rest of September.  If I can, I’ll post photos, but I’m concentrating on tasting and walking France – YES YES YES- and will catch you up after we return. See you later!

                                                                   photo courtesy Beaune tourism

If you follow me on twitter or fb –THANKS!!– you might have seen a series of photos of something I’ve called “Summer in a Breakfast.”  No recipes usually and none needed probably, but occasionally one has gotten into the blog and, if so, I’ve given the link by its photo below.

You’ll find a theme or two:

Above:  Fresh ricotta toast with egg, tomato, and basil

Above:  My own garden’s yellow zucchini frittata

Eclipse in a breakfast

Above: Avocado toast with eggs, tomato, and salsa

Above: Egg white omelet with spinach, hummus, and herbs

Above: Guac tomatoes and eggs

Above: Eggs cooked in pintos with bacon

I thought it might be fun to continue the idea of the season in a breakfast into fall and leave you with a new upside down apple-spice muffin to try out for September.  Lovely for breakfast or tea mid-morning, these attractive baby breads will also happy-up any lunchbox and will gingerly (ah, the pun) step up to the dessert table on a cool September evening–just add a tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream.  My very favorite current apples are Honey Crisps, but Fujis (a good bargain just now, as are Galas) or Granny Smiths will do just as well. Use what you like, though a tarter apple that holds its shape often bakes more obediently, especially when it’s all cozied up with butter, spices, and sugar.  Try this:

UPSIDE DOWN APPLE-SPICE MUFFINS (Fall in a Breakfast)

These sweet treats are just a tad more trouble than your run-of-the-mill muffins and are tastily worth the extra couple of minutes it takes to chop apples and nuts and make the brown sugar-butter topping.  Italics indicate divided ingredients.

Makes 12-14 muffins

By the way: If you haven’t tested the temperature in your oven lately, do it today.

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup raisins (golden or black)
  • Butter, shortening, or spray to grease muffin tin
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored, and small diced
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided (half for muffin topping, half for muffins)
  • 7 tablespoons melted butter, divided (3 Tablespoons for the topping and 4 Tablespoons for the muffin batter)
  • 2 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 or 7 grates freshly grated nutmeg ( perhaps 1/16 teaspoon)
  • Good pinch ground cloves (1/8 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (I like Penzey’s)*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk (or 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup orange juice)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

PLUMP THE RAISINS: Add water and raisins to a small sauce pan and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and let sit covered five minutes.  Drain and cool. Set aside.

GREASE THE TINS AND ADD APPLES + BROWN SUGAR MIXTURE: Grease muffin tins very well, including around the edges on the top of the muffin tin. Divide diced apples between tins—about a tablespoon diced apples in each muffin cup.  Mix the brown sugar with 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon and three of the tablespoons of melted butter.  Drizzle apples in tins with about 3/4 teaspoon of the brown sugar-butter mixture each.  Set aside.

MAKE THE MUFFIN MIXTURE: In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and spices, including the other 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.  Set aside.  In a 2 cup measuring cup, whisk together the remaining 4 tablespoons melted butter, the eggs, and the milk.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix briefly just until combined.  Stir in reserved drained raisins and chopped nuts.

ADD MUFFIN MIXTURE TO THE APPLES, BROWN SUGAR, AND BUTTER: Using a greased or sprayed large ice cream scoop or greased ½ cup dry measure or large spoon, scoop the muffin batter into the tins on top of the apple and brown sugar mixture. Fill no more than ¾ full. If you have extra batter, grease a ramekin (or two) or an oven-safe mug and bake an extra muffin(s) that way. Ramekin muffins are beautifully shaped!

BAKE AND SERVE:  Bake 400 degrees Fahrenheit about 15 minutes or until just done–a toothpick should come out clean when inserted only about 1/2 inch down into the muffins. Holding tin firmly at each end, gently bang the bottom evenly on a heavy board.  Immediately loosen edges of muffins with a sharp knife and invert out onto a baking sheet or wooden board.  Add back to the muffins any stray toppings.  Cool 5 minutes and serve upside down warm or at room temperature.

*If you haven’t used your ground ginger since last Christmas, it’s time for a new jar.

{Printable Recipe}

IF YOU LIKED THIS, YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE MY:

Kathy’s Apple Pie (PIE 101)

or

IMG_3964 3

My Cherry-Peach Muffins  (Cooking with Addie)

or

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my Pear and Almond Torte with Scotch Whipped Cream

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As summer wends away and autumn calls over the mountains, my horizons in both directions are full of smoke from Montana, California, and Oregon fires.

We’ve been blessedly without many fires in Colorado due to an oddly wet summer, but just yesterday a fire was reported near Steamboat Springs.  Our windows are tightly closed and luckily we have central air conditioning to cushion this blow–unlike many in the pacific northwest who are suffering. AC on and 63 degrees Fahrenheit outside is not something we do on a regular basis.

Yesterday, I saw the twins–if you’ve been following the blog, our little bambis– and their mom at a neighbor’s. (photo just below) They’re so big now, though they’ll stay a lot with her for the next year.  Our does are daily visitors, but bucks  just come once a week or so.

Bake a new muffin and eat peacefully without a shred of guilt as you spend more time at the table. Thanks for reading!

Alyce