Crunchy on the outside and moist and fluffy on the inside, these apple and macaroon muffins always satisfy my cake cravings. Like most muffins they are quick and easy to make, and a wonderful way to use apples. The recipe grew out of an old recipe for macaroon cakes that I found in one of my granny’s old food magazines, and since I have a general hankering for apple recipes, I thought, why not combine the two?
I decided to make these again the other day because my eight-year-old son suddenly found that green apples, having been his favorite apples for as long as I can remember, were no longer to his liking. Now only red apples will do! O, fickle are the hearts of the young, but why let a good bag of green apples go to waste because of it?
I guess using almond macaroons in cakes is a very Danish thing. You’ll find almond macaroons in a variety of classic Danish desserts and cakes, and you can get them in any supermarket in Denmark. Made of almond flour, sugar and egg whites these fluffy little biscuits are similar to the Italian Amaretti cookies. Because they are quite sweet they pair really well with apples, giving a very nice balance of sweetness, crunch from the macaroons and juiciness and a hint of tartness from the apples.
I’ve tried making these muffins with pears instead of apples, and though the result was certainly decent, they were somewhat sweeter. But feel free to try for yourself with different types of fruit if you like, I’m sure your friends and family won’t mind testing them.
Apple and macaroon muffins (yields 12 muffins)
8.8 oz/1.25 cups (250 g) caster sugar + 2-3 tbsp for sprinkling on top
3 medium sized eggs
6 tbsp almond flour
4.4 oz/1 cup (125 g) all purpose flour
1½ tsp baking powder
4.4 oz (125 g) plain almond macaroons without filling (like Danish ‘makroner’). Alternatively Amaretti cookies
2 apples, green or red as you like
5.3 oz/2/3 cup (150 g) salted butter
1. First melt the butter in a pot over low heat and then leave to cool. Turn on the oven and set at 400 F (200 C).
2. Then whisk the eggs and sugar together for about 5 min. using an electric mixer.
3. Add the almond flour, all purpose flour and baking powder to the egg and sugar mix. Crush the macaroons (or amaretti biscuits) coarsely and add them too. Lastly, pour in the melted butter and stir everything together.
4. Then pour the batter into butter-greased muffin tins or paper muffin cups. Cut the apples into small bites and divide the apples evenly on top of the batter of each muffin. Press down the apples gently into the batter and sprinkle with a bit of sugar on top before putting them in the oven. Bake the apple and macaroon muffins for 20-25 min.