I am not a breakfast person.
I mean, I love breakfast — or maybe more accurately, I love brunch. A plate of eggs and sausages and hash browns? Yes, please. Huevos Rancheros? Absolutely. Even classic eggs Benedict is a perfect way to start the day.
But during the week, I’ll grasp at any extra sleep I can get in the morning and if that means foregoing a sit-down breakfast, then that’s the sacrifice I will make.
That doesn’t mean, though, that I skip the meal entirely. There’s no way I could last until lunch and I recognize the importance of starting off the day right (while still hitting the snooze button at least once).
So, I like to have stuff around that I can grab and take with me. Fruit, small chunks of cheese, maybe even a sandwich. And, occasionally, I have fresh muffins.
Bran or blueberry are standard, but when I saw the small collection of apples on my counter (my go-to fruit for snacking) this week, I thought it might be nice to incorporate them into a muffin.
It would have to be spiced with some cinnamon and nutmeg and the chunks of apple should be big enough to notice, but small enough to get well distributed in the mix.
After digging around on the Internet, I found a recipe from Martha Stewart to use as a guide, but I made a few changes, including adding nutmeg (a warm flavour I think is perfect with apples) and reducing the butter; a little fat is fine in a muffin, but I think a half a cup is unnecessary.
I made it with Fujis and Galas because that’s what I had around the house. The original calls for a Granny Smith, which would give off a tarter flavour, but these sweeter apples were just as nice.
And I didn’t bother peeling the apple before dicing it because:
a) There are lots of great nutrients in the peel;
b) I can’t be bothered;
c) All of the above.
Plus, I like how the skins imparted a slightly pink hue to the baked muffins.
These turned out really well, warmly spiced and full of small chunks of apple. With a chunk of cheddar and a cup of tea, it’s a good way to start the day — right after hitting the snooze button.
- 2 cups (500 mL) flour
- 1 cup (250 mL) sugar
- 2 tsp (10 mL) baking soda
- ¾ tsp (3.5 mL) salt
- ½ tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
- ½ tsp (2 mL) nutmeg
- 1 apple, cored and diced into ½-inch (1-cm) cubes
- 1 cup (250 mL) buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup (60 mL) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Line a muffin tin with liners or spray with vegetable oil.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and spices until thoroughly mixed. Stir in apples.
In a separate bowl, using a fork or whisk, mix buttermilk, eggs and butter.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Using a spatula or spoon, gently fold together the mixture until just combined. Do not over mix.
Divide batter between muffin cups, filling three-quarters full. Bake until the muffins are brown and a toothpick or tester comes out clean, about 16 to 18 minutes. Let cool slightly in the pan before removing to a rack.
Makes 12 to 18 muffins.