Today I needed to bake something. Waiting for a baby to come -- even when feeling awful -- can get a little mundane. And yesterday I noticed that we'd eaten the peaches and berries we'd bought at the market last weekend, but we hadn't eaten all of the apples. So naturally, while laying awake in best last night, I figured I'd make Raw Apple Muffins with them.
The muffin recipe was one that Christiane introduced me to, but it wasn't until I ran across the recipe in Marion Cunningham's "Breakfast Book" that I copied the recipe for myself. It's a simple recipe that seems fairly foolproof if you follow Marion's advice. The best part of this recipe is that I've got the ingredients on hand pretty much any time except the peak of summer when apples are hard to come by (at least good ones).
The result is a dense, fruit-filled muffin that has some depth to it that can be hard to come by in a world where muffins are often thought of as a super-sweet, cakey pastry made fake-tasting berries. (If this describes what you call a muffin, you are under strict orders to go to a REAL bakery -- not in a grocery store, you must be able to see people making baked goods and the staff should be able to describe tastes, textures and ingredients -- ASAP.)
Take the extra step and follow the directions to use three separate bowls. And if you've got disposable gloves in your kitchen, put a pair on and do use your hands to mix. Even if you don't have gloves, your hands still are the best option to combine the ingredients because it is a thick, chunky batter.
Here's the recipe. Enjoy, and don't dare cut the recipe down -- these muffins freeze really well, so any extras need not go to waste!
Raw Apple Muffins
from Marion Cunnigham's "Breakfast Book"
4 cups diced apple (peeled or unpeeled)
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup oil (corn oil is very good)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup broken walnuts
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease 16 muffin tins.
Put 3 mixing bowls on the counter. Mix the apples and sugar in one bowl and set aside. Put the eggs, oil and vanilla in a second bowl and stir to blend well. In the third bowl, put the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, and stir the mixture with a fork until blended.
Stir the egg mixture in to the apples and sugar, and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the apple mixture and mis well. (I use my hands because this is a stiff batter.) Sprinkle the raisans and walnuts over the batter and mix until they are evenly distributed. Spoon into the muffin tins.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until a straw comes out clean when inserted into the center of a muffin. Serve warm.