Monday, October 4, 2010

Apples #2: Make Up a Muffin

Nutritionist Ellie Krieger, whom I mentioned recently in my fish taco post, has a funny comment about muffins in The Food You Crave cookbook.  She says the full-fat muffins that we all know and love "are essentially cake but are called a muffin so people don't have to admit to eating cake for breakfast." 

When I compared her muffin recipes to the one I almost made from Southern Living, I saw her point.  The Southern Living recipe for pumpkin-apple muffins calls for a half-cup of butter.  That's a lot of saturated fat.  In her muffin creations, Ellie uses canola oil, which is monounsaturated and neutral in taste.  She uses only a quarter-cup of oil and boosts the moisture content with fruit or vegetable purees.  Her other trick is to combine whole-grain pastry flour with all-purpose flour, which gives the muffins a light, cakey texture and the antioxidant benefits of whole grains. 

Using these tips, I came up with my own pumpkin-apple muffin.  That's right.  This is an original.  I totally revamped that Southern Living recipe and the baking gods smiled on me.   These are good!  If you make them, and I hope you will, let me know what you think by sending a comment my way.

Pumpkin-Apple Muffins
(A Food and Loathing Original)
Makes 12 muffins

1 C all-purpose flour
1 C whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. pumpkin pie spice
3/4 C dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature and slightly beaten
1/4 C canola oil
3 T. unsweetened applesauce
1 C pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C buttermilk (I used Marburger gourmet brand)
1 1/2 small McIntosh apples, or apples of your choosing, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch dice
3 T. sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.   Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.  

In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, applesauce, oil, and one of the eggs until combined.  Add the other egg and whisk well.  Whisk in the pumpkin and vanilla.  Stir in the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the buttermilk, just until combined.  Fold in the apples. 

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each about two-thirds full.  Combine the granulated sugar and remaining teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, and sprinkle over muffins.  Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the muffins comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold.  Enjoy warm or let cool completely and store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


  1. making these tonight! they sound delicious.

  2. No wonder I like muffins so much--they are cake. I spent a week looking for canned pumpkin. I finally found some and bought 10 cans--I'm set for awhile. I will have to try these