Autumn. The crisp cool air. Kicking leaves. Open fires. Hot chocolate. Halloween. Warming spices. Soups and stews while snuggled inside listening to the rain hammering off the windows (ok so here in Ireland that could just as easily be July but I digress). I adore it. I always get renewed energy at this time of year and have so much fun finding recipes to use up the fresh seasonal produce. Every year I seem to end up with a glut of apples that cry out for some creative cooking other than the standby crumble, pie and cider. I saw a post here a while back on making vegan honey from apple juice and I knew I just had to make it. It didn’t disappoint! In fact I’m staying up past my bedtime trying to type this up as I’m so excited to share this gorgeous recipe and the moreish spiced cookies that I made with the leftover pulp ( as always I try to avoid food waste by using everything up). Now I get to add it to my warm drinks, stir it into porridge, drizzle over pancakes, slather it on bread, roll around in it…..sorry, I may get a bit over enthusiastic about new discoveries at times.
I used whole apples and pears then juiced them but you can shortcut by using store bought juice, just make sure to get a pure juice without any additives. This was also the first twinge of regret I had for giving away my juicer only last week in my on-going quest to simplify my life. However, a blender and nut milk bag worked beautifully so the regret didn’t last long. I love how simple this was to make and how the cookies used both the pulp and the honey itself, each bite tasted like Autumn incarnate.
Vegan Apple And Pear Honey Recipe
*note: I’m sticking with the measurements in the link above but I found the yield was more like 4 cups of juice rather than 2 so I just made 2 batches of it. If using store bought juice you only need the lemon juice and sugar, not the extra water.
5 medium apples and 3 conference pears (around 1300g in total)
1/2 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Chop fruit and place in blender with the water. Blend until pureed. Place puree in a nut milk bag and gently squeeze to get the juice. Save the pulp for the cookies. Put 2 cups of juice in a small saucepan with the sugar and lemon juice. Stir gently. Bring to a rolling boil then heat on medium high for around 20 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half. To test for desired consistency, dip a chilled spoon in the liquid and when cooled, you can touch to check it. There may be some ‘scum’ that rises to the top while it’s cooking but it’s easy enough to lift off. That’s it! Be aware that when pouring into your container , the honey will be extremely hot so take care, it will thicken up as it cools.
Autumn Spiced Thumbprint Cookie Recipe
These little bitesized pieces of heaven are going to be a regular feature in our household now, easy to swap out the apple and pear pulp for whatever pulp you have from juicing. Adapted from this recipe
1/2 cup vegan butter/spread
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tblsp ground flax mixed with 1 and 1/2 tblsp of water to make ‘egg’
1 and 1/4 cups of plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup apple and pear pulp
plus 1/4 cup pulp to mix with 1/8 cup of the vegan apple ‘honey’ to place in the thumbprints
Preheat oven to 190 degrees C. Cream together the butter and sugar then beat in the flax mixture and vanilla. Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Add this gradually to the creamed mixture and mix thoroughly. Add in the pulp and mix again.
Use 2 tsps of dough per cookie, roll into balls and place on a baking tray. Press your thumb down in the centre of each ball. Put 1/2 tsp of the pulp/’honey’ mix in the centre of each thumbprint. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden. Cool on the tray for a few minutes then finish on a cooling rack.
There we have it.Gorgeous Autumnal flavours , no food waste and frugal! I’m so happy with how this turned out and would love to hear if you try it for yourself 🙂