Have I ever told you about my mom’s apple pie?
She always makes it deep-dish style (like Chicago pizza). Sometimes she’ll make it with a double crust and sometimes she’ll make it with what she calls a “French crumble topping”, and her thick apple layer is perfectly spiced and sweetened. It is hands-down the best apple pie. In the world. (Tall claim, but I’m sticking to it…but I won’t argue if you tell me the same about your mom’s pie.)
Her apple pie is what I love about Sundays in the fall at home. My mom would make a cozy meal like Roast Chicken, Pot Roast, or Chicken Kiev, then we’d sit out on the deck if the weather wasn’t too chilly, sipping hot tea. Later we all knew what was coming for dessert. And then if I was really lucky, she’d send me home with a piece of apple pie for breakfast the next day.
I’m really not much of a pie maker. I used to be intimidated by it, but a couple years ago I conquered that fear one weekend when I made four pies consecutively to develop the best, most flaky and most flavorful crust ever for a local magazine article. No, luckily I’m not intimidated anymore.
The truth is, I’m a little pie-lazy. You know how it goes…the fruit needs prep, the crust needs a bit of care when handling, it’s a (relatively) long bake time, etc. And then because I’m a food blogger and not a normal human, I can’t just make a pie to share with my family or friends. No, if I were to make a pie, before sharing it with anyone I would need to photograph the daylights out of it. And let me tell you, pie doesn’t photograph easily, not for me, anyway. There you have it; I’m a lazy pie maker.
So instead of bringing you apple pie during pie season, I’m bringing you apple muffins. I know it’s not the same, but they are delicious in their own right…I’m telling you, if you pop by and I offer you one of these muffins along with a cup of coffee I don’t think you’ll turn it down (I know I wouldn’t be able to!).
These muffins are moist, sweetly scented, and perfectly apple-y, without being too sweet, too heavily spiced, or too heavy in general. They were inspired by Cooking Light’s recipe for Amaretto Apple Streusel Cupcakes, but I made a few changes to lighten them up a bit (don’t worry, their flavor was not sacrificed…promise!), and also to make them a little less sweet (I reduced the amount of sugar in them and I also reduced the amount of glaze by half). Oh, and I used almond extract instead of amaretto.
I am perfectly happy dubbing these beauties muffins instead of cupcakes…which of course means they’re breakfast-friendly. But don’t listen to me, I think my mom’s deep dish apple pie is suitable for breakfast. (Of course only in autumn though. ;) )