When the scent of cinnamon and cake dough wafts through the house, the oven gives off a pleasant warmth in the kitchen, the dog takes a nap on the wool carpet (and watches what is going on in the kitchen with one eye), when the hot baking tray comes out of the oven and the scent of warm apples fills every corner of the room; and when you brew a cup of tea, alone or with someone you love, sit on the sofa and enjoy the freshly baked cake, sipping from your cup, knowing that life is all right at the moment, that’s for me the magic of certain recipes. They are more than just food. They awaken something in us that goes much deeper than just our stomach. They bring a feeling of security, of home and wellbeing. You can certainly still remember situations from your childhood in which you experienced a feeling of confidence and security in connection with your mother’s food. The scent of a cake that whispered to you: this is where you belong. The taste of a meal that made you feel home.
For me, apple pie with cinnamon is one of those primal tastes that stand for cosiness, satisfaction and home. In recent years the Danish-Norwegian word “hygge” has often been used for this feeling, and it has even found its way into the international dictionaries. Hygge has the original meaning of “cherish”, “spread wellbeing” and it stands for something that you might want to quickly dismiss as a lifestyle trend, but in truth is a basic need: to ensure that life around us is pleasant, relaxed, beautiful, happy and full of love.
Hygge is actually the art of living. Hygge doesn’t mean working yourself to death around the clock and then buying a muffin on the way home and eating it in front of the laptop in a carelessly furnished apartment. Hygge means cultivating various aspects of life, including nutrition, furnishings, music, films, books and, last but not least, our relationships and friendships with care and attention to detail. Hygge means living a good life, with all the aspects that go with it. Among other things, with such small details as homemade muffins. Because for some it may just be a muffin, but for others it is an unforgettable moment that reminds them that life is good.
And now I would like to know from you: which recipes, smells and tastes create this feeling of home, wellbeing or simply hygge in you? I look forward reading from you. Please leave a comment below!
For the apples:
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup grade A or C
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 550 g sour apples peeled and diced
- 50 ml water
For the dough:
- 200 g spelt flour type 1050 alternatively: my gluten-free flour mixture for the gluten-free version either add 1 egg OR dissolve 3/4 tbsp ground chia seeds in 3 tbsp water and let it soak for 5 minutes. Then add to the dough.
- 60 g ground almonds
- 2 tsp tartar baking powder
- 2/3 tsp salt
- 1 grated zest of organic lemon
- 100 ml maple syrup grade A or C
- 80 g melted coconut oil
- 150 g applesauce
For the crumble:
- 50 g ground almonds
- 1 tbsp coconut oil spreadable at room temperature
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- muffin tin
- Preheat the oven to 180°C top and bottom heat.
- For the apples, heat coconut oil with maple syrup and cinnamon in a saucepan. Add the diced apple and cook for about 3 minutes while stirring (the apple pieces should not burn). Add water, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes with the lid closed.
- Mix all ingredients for the dough until smooth. Fold in half of the cooked apple pieces.
- Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Divide the dough evenly over the 12 cups. Spread the remaining apple pieces on top. Knead all the ingredients for the crumble with your hands. Crumble on the muffins. Bake the muffins on medium heat for about 25 minutes. At the end of the baking time, a toothpick poked into the dough should come out clean.
- Take the muffins out of the oven and let them cool for 20 minutes, then remove them from the muffin tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely.