Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Baking muffins always makes me think of my mom. She loves to make muffins, from zucchini muffins to carrot muffins to my favorite pumpkin muffins. I was initially intending to make apple cupcakes this past weekend, but ultimately decided that my recipe worked much better as a muffin. Apples are still in high season, especially here in New York, so these would really be perfect with any variety. I used locally grown, Granny Smith apples in my recipe, which were nice because the end result of the muffins was not overly sweet. I think my mom would have really enjoyed these. I loved the texture of the muffins as well - they're slightly lumpy, but really that is just perfect. The apple cider and the mix of spices are a nice compliment to the apples - it brings out the flavors of fall really well. Muffins like these bring me back to my childhood days.
I love cooking with apples, pumpkins and squash in the fall - these three foods are really the best thing about fall. I haven't tired yet either - I have a whole group of wonderful pumpkin desserts that I will be making when we host Thanksgiving dinner this year, and I am making butternut squash risotto tomorrow night as well.
Sasha's Cinnamon-Apple Fall Muffins
3 large granny smith apples
3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup of canola oil
1/2 cup apple cider
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
To make the muffins, first peel and core the apples, cutting into slices. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until soft. Next, I decided to puree the apples in my Cusinart miniprep. I didn't fully puree though - just enough to leave them chunky so that the cupcakes would have the perfect texture and have some actual lumps of apple in there.
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, spices, baking soda and salt) in a bowl. Add the eggs, canola oil, vanilla, apple cider and apples and mix until well combined. The final mixture will be lumpy an a bit thicker than typical cupcake batter. You do not need a stand mixer to make this recipe.
Using muffin tins, or silicon muffin molds (I am a huge fan of any baking tools made of silicon, including the muffin tins), fill 3/4 of the way full, the same way as if you were making cupcakes. I was initially intending on turning these into apple cupcakes with a caramel icing or glaze, but the muffin idea really worked much better since they are not super-sweet. I think using Granny Smith apples (rather than a sweeter variety) is crucial to accomplishing that.
Bake the muffins at 350 for about 20-25 minutes (I'd say mine took about 22). Enjoy!