Thursday, October 28, 2010

Brunch Recipes #1: Muffins and Applesauce

I was born in Connecticut. I then lived in Oregon for most of my life. Both of these locations provided me with seasonal bounties of apples in the Autumn. I am still accostomed to this and bought about 30 dollars worth of apples last fall due to the lack of bounty here in the southland. Not this year - i found some sense. Luckily this year also found me IN the northeast to enjoy the proper apple bounty in its very best location and season. My cousin was kind enough to bring a bushel of Maccoun (i always misspell that) apples to Montauk for me to turn into a delicious sauce.

Had i continued cooking the apples down, i'd have made a finer and denser apple 'butter' but i had socializing, beach walking, and stone collecting to do, so i settled for a simple sauce. Making applesauce is the easiest thing to do - so if you have a kiddo, or just really like applesauce (who doesn't?) make it yourself. Especially if you live in apple country, there is NO excuse to purchase pre made sauce, filled with preservatives, sugar, or just questionably sourced apples. Make your own!

It's easy:
Take a bushel of apples. Peel and core. You could even leave the peels on. I peel, but don't mind little stragglers of skin. Compost the peels and cores - keep the cores away from your doggies as apple seeds are poisonous.
Plop the apples chunked into a big pot along with a pinch of freshly ground cinnamon and cloves, cover and bring to a boil on high. Stir occasionally and keep heat at a medium/high until the apples start to fall apart into mush. Stir some more, maybe add a tiny pinch of brown sugar if you must - tiny pinch only! Keep covered and simmer on low for a few hours.

I think i simmered mine for about 4 hours or so. Nothing smells better than a simmering pot of apple goodness and it does all the work for you.

Now for the muffins. These were delicious and one particular muffin was taken hostage by my grandmother as her 'security muffin' (this story is too fantastic not to mention but too silly to type out fully here). Needless to say, Grandma Viv really liked her muffin and had THREE with her brunch. I think i had at least 2 and a half. These muffins aren't too sweet, they're wholesome without being dense, they complimented the applesauce well and would be great with breakfast or dinner.
I got the recipe from the Harried Homemaker and changed only the flour and the sugar - i used half whole wheat half all purpose flours, and half Rapadura and half granulated sugars. I doubled the recipe to make a little over 24 muffins and calculated the recipe to make about 145 calorie muffins.
These are not your gooey, sticky, sugary, fluffy, cupcakey blueberry muffins. They're biscuity while still being very muffiny and just darned scrumptious! I'll be making these regularly and with whatever berry is in season. Perhaps some cranberry muffins will be coming with me to Thanksgiving this year instead of the pumpkin bread pudding i'd planned.
  • 1/4 C melted butter
  • 2 cup flour - half all purpose, half white whole wheat
  • 1/3 cup sugar - half rapadura, half granulated
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup berries  - i used frozen blueberries
Combine dry, make a well and add mixed up wet ingredients and blend within 25-20 strokes. Fold in berries last and cook in greased muffin tins at 425 for about 15-20 minutes. Mine went about 17 and i switched top to bottom, bottom to top half way through: thus burning my hand. First thing in the morning. Shesh.

A note on the prep: i mixed the dry ingredients here in Austin and packed them all up in an empty flour bag. TSA didn't mind my travelling with cucumbers, tomatoes, muffin mix, or cheddar cheese - though they were curious of my bag of rocks on the return voyage. Prepping the mix in my own bowls with my own measuring cups brought me sanity and mixing in the wet stuff in Montauk was a cinch. I baked these guys fresh for the table the morning of the brunch and all were scarfed down by cousin and uncle alike.

Cousin James and Grandma Viv ready to pounce on the feast.
 Yum. I want to eat more muffin and applesauce right now. NOW. Dangit, Austin and no apples. Next fall, maybe i will get the sweet taste of apple in my mouth again. For now, i anxiously await my friend's persimmon tree to ripen and be turned into jam by me.

Back tomorrow with the rest of the menu.

This post seen at Simple Lives Thursday

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Thank you so much for your feedback, especially if you've cooked one of my recipes or tried one of my tips: let me know how it turned out!