Spiced Apple Muffins

Ages and ages ago I went to a coffee morning at the house of one of the nursery mums and I took some muffins with me – spiced apple muffins.  A lady there asked me for the recipe and I very badly never got round to giving her the recipe.  I bumped into her the other day and you know what she said after what must be about 2 years?  “You never did give me that recipe.”  They really must have made an impression on her!!  They are good and what I like about muffins compared to cupcakes that are so trendy at the moment is that, as well as being tasty, they tend to be a lot lower in fat and sugar.  These ones also have fruit and oats in so how virtuous is that?

This recipe is from Alison Holst’s Marvellous Muffins, a book I bought in New Zealand where muffins, both sweet and savoury, were really popular in the cafes and there was a fabulous cafe culture with loads of independent cafes that had real character especially in Wellington, even the cafe in the library was fab.  I wonder if Cuba Cuba us still thriving?

As it is a antipodean recipe, you need measuring cups (recipes with cups are fantastic for cooking with younger kids).

Sift 1 cup of self raising flour into a large bowl.  Mix in 1 cup of fine rolled oats, 3/4 cup of brown sugar, 2tsp  each of cinnamon and mixed spice, 1/2 tsp ground cloves (optional), and 1/2 tsp of baking soda.

In another bowl melt 75g butter (reduced fat spread will work – one with 60g/100g fat content) until just liquid in the microwave. Add 1 egg and 3/4 cup of milk and beat with a fork to mix.

Peel and grate an apple.  You need a cup of grated apple, make sure you press the grated apple into the cup to get the right amount.  Add this to your bowl of liquids.

Add the liquids to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix  lightly until the dry ingredients are just wet – don’t over mix.  You may need a little more milk depending on how juicy the apple is but no more than 1/4 of a cup.

Put the mix into muffin cases or a greased muffin tin.  Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 12-15 minutes – if you are making large muffins you may need a little longer.  They will spring back when pressed once they are ready and be nicely golden.  Of course they are at their best warm from the oven, pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to rewarm them later on but they are nice cold too.

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