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Chunky Apple & Cinnamon Muffins
I am a sucker for a fresh muffin and a cup of strong coffee. The best thing about muffins is their versatility. Cake-based white muffins with chocolate chips, raspberry bran muffins, or my personal favorite, chunky apple and cinnamon. Muffins can be served as a sweet treat or an entire balanced breakfast in a small portable vehicle. With the right batter base, the flavors are completely up to you.
When it comes to making the perfect muffin, there are a few points that need a little attention. The first and most obvious is the appearance. Achieving that characteristic muffin top is a lot easier than you’d think. It’s just that most recipes don’t feel the need to tell you the trick to that perfectly shaped dome. I’ll tell you: refrigeration and not filling the tin too much. Putting cold muffin batter in a very hot oven for the first 5-7 minutes will send those babies straight up. It’s that simple!
Another important detail is the crumb, or texture. Muffins should be airy and fluffy, but most importantly moist. I find buttermilk works in two ways. First, it acts as a partner in the leavening process. When buttermilk and baking powder interact, a wonderful chemical reaction takes place causing the muffin to rise high. Secondly, the buttermilk provides moisture to the crumb. And not to mention, gives an amazing taste to most baked goods.
This recipe for chunky apple and cinnamon muffins has one thing extra you won’t find in most recipes. It repurposes the apple peeling for an intense apple flavor. I also use this method for apple pies and crumble. It really does make a tremendous difference. You can omit this step if you can’t be bothered, but I recommend adding an extra half cup of buttermilk to replace that extra liquid.
And one last note, you can also make banana muffins with this recipe, just swap out the apples for 2 very ripe bananas, crushed and ½ tsp of nutmeg instead of cinnamon. I usually do a batch of both at the same time.
Chunky Apple & Cinnamon Muffins
- 2 apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
- Apple peelings + 1/4 cup water + 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup steel-cut oats
- ½ cup bran
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 100g unsalted butter
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
1. Peel and core apples. Reserve peelings. Coarsely chop apples. Set aside.
2. In a medium size saucepan, add apple peelings, water, and sugar. Simmer covered over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes. Then using a hand blender, purée peelings until smooth and continue simmering uncovered for another 10 minutes to thicken. Turn heat off to cool to room temperature.
3. In a medium bowl, measure AP flour, WW flour, steel-cut oats, bran, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir.
4. In a large bowl, cream butter and white and brown sugar until fluffy.
5. Add eggs and buttermilk. Beat well.
6. Slowly add the dry ingredients, but don’t over beat. Just enough to incorporate evenly.
7. Stir in apple chunks with a wooden spoon.
8. Scoop muffin batter into greased and lined muffin trays. Fill each cup 3/4 full.
9. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
10. Preheat oven to 225°C, convection setting if possible.
11. Bake for 5-7 minutes, until the muffin top expands over the side. Do not open the oven door. Turn heat down to 180°C and continue baking for another 15 minutes, or until the muffin top springs back when you press it with your finger.
12. Allow muffins to cool for at least 10 minutes …if you can.