It’s been an eventful week for us. My little one started preschool which — beyond the obvious “heartstrings” aspect of it all — means thinking about packing a lunchbox on a regular basis. So begins a new chapter in food for our family.
As I was packing up my first lunch, I got to thinking about what would put a smile on my son’s face when he opened up his brand spanking new lunchbox. Something super yummy. A muffin perhaps? Problem was, we were just back from vacation and our refrigerator was really, really bare. Luckily we happened to have a few apples, so I decided to take that as my starting point.
I reached for my “go to” kitchen reference the Gourmet Cookbook and it came through once again with the recipe for “Marion Cunningham’s Raw Apple Muffins” (originally published in Marion Cunningham’s “Breakfast Book“). This is a simple recipe, which requires just a few ingredients and turns out not-to-sweet and very moist muffins. It’s timely, too, with apple season upon us.
[Here's my little tip: coring, peeling and dicing the apples is the only time consuming step of this recipe. We happen to have one of those apple peeling/coring/slicing contraptions -- my husband likes to make pie and this is a fantastic tool for prepping a big pile of apples. I was able to break down my apples into a perfect little dice in no time with very little knife work. Yippee for that.]
Raw Apple Muffins
(adapted from the recipe for “Marion Cunningham’s Raw Apple Muffins” in the Gourmet Cookbook. This recipe was originally published in Marion Cunningham’s “Breakfast Book”)
- 2 apples (peeled, cored and diced — 1/4″ dice is ideal)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup oil (I substituted my apple-pear butter, you could also use apple sauce)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (I omitted this since my apple butter already has spices in it)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- muffin tin liners
- Toss the diced apples and sugar in a bowl and set aside.
- Mix egg, vanilla and oil (or apple butter) in a bowl set aside.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, salt, spices, baking soda)
- Add the egg mixture to the apples and mix well. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
- Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full and bake at 350 degrees. Start checking for done-ness at 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin should come out clean. Makes about 10 muffins.
I think next time I might experiment with substituting a third of the flour with whole wheat flour and stirring in a couple of tablespoons of oats and a couple teaspoons of flax seed just to add a little extra nutritional punch. After making these muffins, I think I’m definitely going to have to check out the “Breakfast Book”!