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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Apple Muffins

Sometime during our teen years my sister Mary and I began collecting recipes. Most of them came from either magazines or booklets that were handed out in our Home Economics class. I believe these days it’s called Family Studies or something similar. Back then, she was the family baker and I must admit used to turn out a great apple pie! Her recipe for apple muffins was also a real winner as I recall.

I honestly can’t tell you if it was the recipe that was so amazing or just the fact that they were the first good muffins we ever tasted.

Unfortunately, and without revealing any names, all of our recipes were (accidentally?) thrown out. Our recipe collection would have perhaps survived if it hadn’t been filed in an old shoe box in the crawl space under the basement stairs. Fortunately, our filing system has become much more sophisticated since then.

Would you believe we still pine for that recipe every time the subject comes up between us?

Over the years I have tried to find a recipe that will satisfy the memory that remains impressed on my mind. After trying many apple muffin recipes, I’ve managed to narrow it down to three very good ones.

The recipe that follows is one of the three that comes close to this warm memory. However, the quest is definitely not over!

Apple Muffins

1 cup all purpose flour
¾ cups brown sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¾ teaspoons salt
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon milk
1 egg
1 ½ cups chopped peeled apple
  1. In a medium size bowl sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
  2. Peel, core and chop 3 to 4 medium size apples, enough to make 1 ½ cups. (1/2 inch dice)
  3. Place sugar, oil, milk and egg into blender and blend well.
  4. Add the chopped apple to the blender and pulse 2 to 3 times only.
  5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the wet mixture and stir together only until combined. Do not over mix.
  6. Fill 8 paper lined muffin cups with batter and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on rack.
Notes, Tips and Suggestions
  • Most muffin recipes will instruct you not to over mix. It can’t be stressed enough, over mixing makes for tough muffins.
  • When a recipe states that it yields 12 muffins, I usually make 8 to 9. Personally, I like muffins that have large crisp tops. Undersized muffins aren’t as appealing or inviting.
  • Fill all remaining muffin wells with water to prevent the muffin pan from burning.
  • Dressing up the tops of muffins adds interesting texture and makes them more appealing to the eye. A good topping for these apple muffins is an apple crisp mixture.
  • I happened to have some in the fridge one day and placed a tablespoon of the mixture on top of each muffin before baking. Yum! The rolled oat, butter, flour and brown sugar mixture complimented the apple muffins perfectly. It has now become part of the recipe.
  • It’s interesting to note that each of the three apple muffin recipes I make use a different variety of apple. This recipe works well with MacIntosh apples. Perhaps in future posts the Granny Smith and Golden Delicious will make their debut!

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