The moment I heard about Apple Day, I knew which recipe I wanted to attempt. There’s a whole section on muffins in this book, all of which look so fabulous that I’ve been slowly trying them out one by one.
I know I’ve been banging on about Mix & Bake quite a bit lately, but it really is a fantastic book. Belinda Jeffery says there’s something Proustian about the aroma of apples and cinnamon baking – I couldn’t agree more. These types of sweets didn’t feature so much while I was growing up in Malaysia, but when my family arrived on Australian shores, my sister and I wanted to eat nothing but fried butterfish and apple pie with ice-cream (and watch cartoons all day long – which made for a very unhealthy combination, now that I think about it!).
These muffins by Belinda truly celebrate everything that is wonderful about apples. The use of apple juice and diced apples in the filling, coupled with generous spicing, generates this burst of apple flavour that escapes like a bang straight from the oven, into your mouth.
Happy Apple Day!
Apple, pecan and cinnamon muffins:
(Note: In her recipe, Belinda uses a crunchy topping for her muffins which I substituted with my usual crumble recipe. I’m including her original here.)
110g brown sugar
125ml light olive oil
125ml apple juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups diced apples
160g stone-ground wholemeal plain flour
150g plain flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
90g roasted pecans or walnuts, very coarsely chopped
110g castor sugar
70g roasted pecans, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1. Preheat your oven to 190′C. Generously butter a 12-hole non-stick muffin tin.
2. In a bowl, thoroughly whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, oil, apple juice and vanilla extract. Gently stir in the diced apples.
3. Put both of the flours, the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into another larger bowl. Whisk all these together for 1 minute with a balloon whisk. Add the pecans and raisins and toss them about so they’re completely coated in the flour mixture.
4. Pour the apple mixture into the flour mixture and stir them together until they’re just combined into a very chunky batter; don’t overdo the mixing or it can make the muffins tough. Divide the batter equally between the muffin holes; they will be very full.
5. For the crunchy topping, mix together all the ingredients. Spinkle the topping evenly over each muffin.
6. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the muffins are puffed up and smell positively mouth-watering and a fine skewer inserted in the middle of one comes out clean. Cool the muffins in the tin on a wire rack for 2 minutes. Carefully ease them out and sit them on the rack to cool. They’re lovely eaten warm either as is, or with butter or ricotta.