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.
Yields 12 muffins
-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
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.