Saturday, November 7, 2009

Apple Muffins

While she was pregnant, Becky needed lots of continuous food input. And it doesn't seem to be slowing down now that she's breastfeeding Sam. So I made lots of quick snack foods, including dozens and dozens of muffins. I adapted this apple muffin recipe from Alton Brown's basic muffin technique. They're apple-y and tasty and aren't too sweet. These are muffins, not cupcakes! Note that the cinnamon levels given are not very high...Becky is sensitive to cinnamon, so if you want them more cinnamon-y then you probably should add more cinnamon!

Apple Muffins

Makes 12 muffins.

4 small apples (1 3/4-ish pounds)
1 stick cinnamon
1/2 tsp lemon zest
303 g (11 oz) (2 1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch salt
105 g (3 3/4 oz) (1/2 cup) sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Two of the apples are going to be used to make applesauce. Peel and chop coarsely. Put in small saucepan with 1/4 cup water, the cinnamon stick, and the lemon zest. Bring to boil, cover, and let simmer on low for 15-20 minutes until apples are soft and can be mushed into applesauce. This should yield ~ 1/2 cup.

The other two apples should be peeled and brunoised (small dice) yielding about 1 1/2 cups.

Put the dry ingredients -- flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt -- in a mixing bowl and whisk together to aerate. Alternatively, you can use a sifter, but whisking does the job just as well and is a lot easier to clean than a sifter!

Put the wet ingredients -- sugar, vegetable oil, yogurt, eggs, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup applesauce -- in a second bowl. If you are short on applesauce, add a bit more yogurt so that yogurt + applesauce = 1 cup. Whisk together until fully incorporated.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix with a spatula until the flour is mostly dissolved. Try to be gentle and not overmix! Add in the 1 1/2 cups of apple bits and fold together. All the flour should be incorporated at this point.

Prepare a muffin tin by spraying with your favorite canola-oil based cooking spray. Spoon 12 roughly equal portions of batter into the muffin tin. They should all be approximately full. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean, turning the pan halfway. Immediately transfer muffins to drying rack when done.

Variation: Lemon-Poppyseed Muffins

Substitute 1 cup yoghurt for 1/2 cup yoghurt and 1/2 cup applesauce.
Add 2 Tbs lemon juice and 1 tsp lemon zest (from 1-2 lemons depending on their size) to the wet ingredients.
Add 2 Tbs poppyseeds instead of the apple bits.
And you probably don't want the cinnamon.

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