Apple, Cranberry and Orange Muffins

by Kelly on May 11, 2012

One of the fun things about having a food blog is that it provides a peek into what I was preparing and eating at different points in time. Since I’ve never wanted to keep a true food diary I don’t capture every meal and morsel here, but it still gives a good 30,000 feet view of my eating and cooking habits.

It’s always been interesting to me to look back and see how long it has been since I made a particular type of dish. Take muffins for example. Apparently I haven’t made them in a little over a year. Who knew! Without digital evidence I probably wouldn’t have believed you since they’re one of my guilty pleasures, but it’s hard to deny their absence on my blog.

Given my affinity for this carbolicious treat that was all the incentive I needed to get in the kitchen and try out a new recipe. Immediately the idea of an apple-cranberry spice muffin came to mind. The idea for this recipe was actually born back in March when I made a batch of Apple Spice cookies. What was unique about those cookies was that they used apple jelly to bump up the fruit flavor without adding excess moisture. I thought the concept would work well for muffins. This recipe was my experiment to find out.

And the results spoke for themselves – a lightly sweet, pleasantly moist muffin with just a hint of spice. I also love the tender chunks of fruit in this recipe. The apples retain the slightest bit of crunch and the cranberries add a touch of tart. I’m already thinking they will make a return in my kitchen this fall when I make my yearly apple picking trip, but you can bet other muffin recipes will pop up in the meantime. I don’t intend to go another year before I make a batch again.

Apple, Cranberry and Orange Muffins
Yields 12 muffins

Ingredients:

-2 cups cake flour
-1/4 cup sugar
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 cup chopped fresh cranberries
-1 medium baking apple, peeled and chopped
-1 teaspoon grated orange rind
-2/3 cup water
-1/4 cup butter
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1 large egg, lightly beaten
-2/3 cup apple jelly, heated until mixture is pourable
-Cooking spray

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir mixture with a whisk until well combined. Stir in cranberries, apples and orange zest. Make a well in center of mixture with your whisk or fingers. In a separate bowl, combine milk, butter, water, vanilla, and egg. Slowly pour in the apple jelly a little at a time, whisking after each addition. Incorporating it slowly allows you to keep from scrambling your eggs with the warm jelly.

Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Be careful not to over mix. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at for 18 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pan immediately; place on a wire rack to cool.

Note: These muffins freeze well. Bake them ahead, cool completely, and store in freezer bags. To serve, thaw at room temperature. Reheat in aluminum foil at 300 degree F for 10 to 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) May 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm

I always say that, ideally, I’d love to make a living off my blog. But, realistically, I know that is a very far away goal to have. And even if I fail, I have a wonderful documentation of the things I have made over the past x number of years.

But, seriously girl, over a year since you made muffins? For shame! :P

Reply

Kelly May 16, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Bee – I know. I hardly believed it myself, especially since for the first few years I cooked I constantly made muffins in every possible variety. I agree that the documentation of having a blog is fantastic. Even if no one ever reads it I enjoy going back and seeing what I was making and thinking at a particular moment in time. Not to mention the lack of permanence with cooking can be a bit sad at times. Maybe I’m weird but sometimes it seems disappointing to spend so much time making a particular recipe and then have it get eaten so quickly. Not to mention my memory is crap these days so I think without a blog I’d forget so many things I’ve made. Even before I had a blog I logged what I made in a spreadsheet because there is nothing worse than making a recipe you love only to forget what cookbook it was that you found it in.

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Renee {Eat.Live.Blog} May 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm

I am so impressed that you can throw things together and make these awesome looking muffins! The jelly idea is so simple, yet genius!

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Kelly May 16, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Renee – It really does work incredibly well. I’m curious to keep trying it out in other applications.

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Esi May 11, 2012 at 10:45 pm

I have an affinity for muffins too and it has been far too long since I have made them. I hope I didn’t give my muffin pan away in the move…..

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Kelly May 16, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Esi – Give away a muffin pan!?! Thankfully they are incredibly inexpensive. You’re now making me feel self conscious that I own no fewer than 5 different variations of muffin pans, no wait six. Mostly different sizes. Yes, I have a cookware addiction problem.

Reply

Christy May 12, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Carbolicious. New favorite word. I’ve been on a bit of a muffin baking hiatus, and it’s nice to see someone else doing it for me. Interesting usage of apple jelly. Glad it worked!

Reply

Kelly May 16, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Christy – I think it is my favorite word, probably because it describes the better part of my diet.

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Kerstin May 13, 2012 at 12:47 pm

You’ve reminded me I haven’t made muffins in awhile either! These look so perfect and I love the apple butter in them!

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Kelly May 16, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Kerstin, isn’t it funny how certain recipes slip by for quite awhile? Of course it may have been better for my waistline because now I’ve rekindled my love of muffins and made yet another batch. I’m at least trying to exercise moderation. I have 1-2 myself and then bring in the rest to share with co-workers.

Reply

Carolyn Jung May 15, 2012 at 11:57 pm

Would you believe I have half a bag of frozen cranberries in my freezer? I always freeze a couple of bags after the holidays because they’re so handy to have. After all, you never know when the mood will strike to bake something with all those cranberries. Like these wonderful muffins, for instance.

Reply

Kelly May 16, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Yes, because I have the same situation going on in my freezer. Actually my frozen fruit stash is a little ridiculous these days and I am trying to eat my way through it.

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Jane May 21, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I love muffins, and I mean all kinds of muffins. If I can only figure it out how to make them with less sugar (I gain weight very easy) than I might go on a muffin diet ;) .

Reply

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