Few things in life can make you happier than children. Don’t take this the wrong way, but children are like dogs … and maybe spiritual leaders, but they can detect when something is off. When you’re in a bad mood, they know. Bad day at work, they know. Overcome with joy, they know. It’s like a sixth sense. For the last couple of months I’ve been teaching an after school cooking program for children grades 3-5.
Below is the recipe for Apple Pie Cupcakes, a creation I made last-minute with few things on hand when I had to shoot a bio for Food Network’s Sweet Genius, where I assisted as the back-up chef. The recipe is written as a chef would read it, don’t follow it exactly, taste and use your judgement, if nothing else you’ll learn something.
I never thought I was going to be a teacher, turns out teaching people (and kids!) how to cook has become one of my strongest passions, and biggest successes in New York. Often I find myself teaching housewives in the morning, kids after school and then corporate workers in the evening.
Regardless of your ability to teach, everyone can share their passions. The thing no one ever told me about teaching is, often times the students teach you more than you teach them. Cheers to that.
Apple Pie Cupcakes (serves 12)
3 free form pie shells (divided into quarters) or homemade pie crust
6 apples, granny smith or a “less sugary apple”
sugar, to taste
2 TB all purpose flour
2 TB bourbon
cinnamon, to taste
punch of salt
12 TB unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Separate pie shells and chill while making the filling. Cut apples in slices, and then half the slices. They should be small pieces, since we’re making cupcakes not pie. Season with sugar. This depends on the level of sweetness in your apples. TASTE the apples. If they are tart, add as much as 1/2 cup. If you think they are sweet, limit it to 1/4 cup sugar. Add flour, nutmeg (a dash!), cinnamon to taste, and bourbon. I also ask for a pinch of salt. The mixture should be wet but not soupy.
Line the muffin tins with each pie portion. It won’t be perfect. If you’d like to make them in more circle forms, use a rolling pin and shape, not necessary as they will overhang the tin. Add the apple mixture and crinkle the remaining pie shell around. Add one TB of butter on top of each muffin.
Bake until golden brown. About 15-17 minutes.