Finally, Some Traditional Baking

Typically I don’t make foods with added sugar in them; I seem to lack a truly insistant sweet tooth.  But occasionally, usually when this is to be shared by others who may have such a tooth, and the situation is appropriate, I’ll bake.  Herb Study Group was heading over (we meet on second Saturdays at our respective homes), and I had an apple or two and some locally grown applesauce from a nearby orchard, so I looked up apple muffin recipes on the Internet.

This one looked interesting:  apple muffins recipe, on the FoodNetwork website.  Evidently the chef is a TV food personality; I wouldn’t know.  I’ve never had cable, well not since 1991 when I moved to my current location, and decided I didn’t miss something I wasn’t watching anyway.  My television set is a place to gather dust and view the occasional DVD or videotape.  In case the name means something to you, the chef is Ellie Krieger.

So, I decided to follow along, reading some of the adaptations others made to her recipe in the Comments section, and switching out the buttermilk for plain low fat yogurt (Stonyhill) due in part to the fact that I’d certainly have no use for the rest of the buttermilk but I’d be able to use the yogurt.  In a different recipe I glanced at, the author of that one suggested either yogurt or buttermilk for her muffins, and didn’t request a volume change, so hey, yogurt it was going to be.

I also didn’t buy the whole wheat pastry flour, whatever that is.  My supermarket didn’t appear to know what this is either, so I stuck with whole wheat regular flour.  Ellie wanted me to use 1 cup whole wheat and one cup white, but I took a gander and went with 1.5 cups whole wheat and 0.5 cups amaranth flour, mainly because I’d had the stuff kicking around for a few months and hadn’t thought of a place to use it until this event.  So I guess these are gluten-reduced muffins…

Er, so what else did I do wrong, er different?  I switched out the pecans in the topping for oatmeal flakes.  I am sooooo not into pecans.  Ellie has you make the topping first and set aside, as so (but with oatmeal, here):

I’m kinda liking the textural effect of the reflection within the mug used to hold this mixture.

Then you get all the dry ingredients for the body of the muffin into one bowl (as per Comments section, I added a bit of cinnamon powder here as well as into that topping), and mix around.

Then you get the brown sugar and the canola oil mixed together — she didn’t specify light or dark brown sugar; dark might have been even better.  Add in two eggs one at a time:  notice the bright yellow yolk of that farmer’s market egg!

Add and mix together each of the next set of ingredients, combining things together, ultimately everything but the apple itself.  My applesauce had no additional sugar — you won’t need it.  (I now get my applesauce from Blue Jay Orchards, in Bethel, CT.)  I didn’t have a Yellow Delicious, I had some red apple; was it a Paula Red?  Again a farmer’s market apple; I am slowly going through the world of local apples finding which varieties I like, but in this case I forgot to Write Down the Names! So if you can tell what it is from the photo, let me know.  Red skin, creamy white interior, not quite as firm and crunchy raw as I’d like when eaten raw.

Okay, baked this in both a regular and in a minimuffin pan:  got 24 mini-muffins and 10 maxi-muffins.   Added sprinkles of the topping just before placing in oven, although on the second batch of mini-muffins I decided that this was a little two sweet for my own tastebuds so I omitted this from some of that new batch. It’s fine on the maxi-muffins, the extra volume of the muffin body carries it.  As per the recipe comments section, I reduced the cooking time on the maxis to 17 minutes (from 20) — perfect.

As for the missing muffin in the inital finished product photo:  Ellie recommends using a toothpick to test the doneness.  I used a very fine wood shish kebab skewer, and the thing came up off the pan and went flying into the back of the oven…  It wasn’t very photogenic when I fished it out (but tasted just fine).

Review:  Very good to excellent, I’d say a 5 out of 5.  The guests enjoyed them.  Moisture level:  very good to excellent.  Made Friday night, and as of today (Sunday) the mini-muffin I just tested is still moist.   I think I prefer the full size model to the small, but those are now gone.


About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: Building a log home in rural western Massachusetts. Will be raising chickens and goats/sheep. Raising veggies and going solar.
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