When I think about the food of my childhood, the things that come immediately to mind are : Apples, Kraft singles, sour plums, red bean ice-cream and grape flavoured chewing gum. Not many of those I would love to see in a muffin, so apples it is.
Apples used to be my favourite fruit. I would eat at least one a day (though it never did keep the Dr. away), savouring each bite and whittling the fruit down to the barest minimum of core. I also loved hot apple pies, crumbles, green apple lollies and clear apple juice. Apple pie a la mode became my staple dessert during weekend family dinners at the Lake Club. As a child, dinner was always a means to gain access to dessert. So down the hatchet went the cheese burger and fries, and hello, apple pie a la mode!
This Caramel Apple Crumble Muffin is my paean to these memories. The apples are chopped and cooked gently in a mixture of butter and brown sugar until they are caramelly (but not too sweet) and tender, then folded through an aromatic muffin mix and topped with crumble that bakes to a wonderful crisp in the oven.
The original recipe (for blueberry muffins) comes from Sue Lawrence, a Scottish cook and food writer. Funnily enough, she got and adapted this recipe from an Australian chef! This in turn, is my adaptation of her recipe. You could even have it as a dessert with some ice-cream: muffin a la mode.
Caramel Apple Crumble Muffins :
(makes 6 standard sized muffins)
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g brown sugar
1 large free-range egg
140g plain flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
50ml (1/4 cup) milk
150g caramel cooked apples (2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored, chopped into roughly 1cm dice and cooked in brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter until caramelised and tender)
For the crumble topping:
70g plain flour
40g demerara sugar
40g unsalted butter, softened
Preheat the oven to 190’C. Place 6 muffin cases in a muffin tin.
Cream the butter for 1-2 minutes then gradually add the sugar. Cream until pale, then beat in the egg. Sift in the flours, baking powder, cinnamon and a pinch of salt, then stir in the milk. Gently fold in the cooled caramel apple dice. Fill the muffin cases with this mixture.
To make the crumble, place the flour in a bowl, then stir in the sugar. Rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. (I like my crumble chunky, so I squeeze some of the mixture together to form larger lumps) Top each muffin with some crumble mixture, pressing down gently.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and risen. Remove to a wire rack and eat warm or at room temperature.
This Muffin Monday Roundup #5 is hosted by Wonder Sophie of Wonder Blog.