Thursday, October 15, 2009

Baking With Granny Smith Apples: A Recipe for Old-Fashioned Spiced Apple Streusel Muffins

apple streusel muffins

I'm back home in New England this week; I'm wearing my fleece, enjoying brilliant foliage, and subsisting on a diet of apples and goods baked with apples. Although you can't compare the year-round fresh produce in San Diego with the produce here, when it comes to apples, New England is indisputably #1. Although any apple can be shined on your sleeve and eaten as is, we usually divide them into eating and cooking apples: firm Cortlands for baking pies; soft MacIntosh for apple sauce; crisp Macouns for eating.

baskets of apples in Scituate, Rhode Island
(Apples from Pomfret, Connecticut.)

Before I left San Diego, I used some Granny Smith apples I had to make these Old-Fashioned Spiced Apple Streusel Muffins. The sour tang of Granny Smiths contrasts deliciously with sweet raisins, brown sugar, and spices. The beauty of this Granny Smith recipe is that they taste like your grandmother's homey spiced apple streusel muffins but with a youthful jolt of tartness. Pair them with a latte for a San Diego treat, or go New England with a nice, hot cup 'a coffee. 

apple streusel muffins

Old-Fashioned Spiced Apple Streusel Muffins
Makes 12 regular size muffins.
Print recipe only here.

Streusel Topping:
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon cold butter

1 1/4 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped (about 2 small)
2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons butter
1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/4 cup coarsely chopped raisins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
5 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-mold regular size muffin pan with paper muffins cups.

2. To make the streusel, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and walnuts. Cut cold butter into small pieces. Using your fingertips, rub butter into the mixture until a pebbly texture forms. Refrigerate while making the muffins.

3. For the apples: Put peeled apples in a small bowl, and douse with lemon juice. Toss to coat. In a medium skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 teaspoons butter. Add apples and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice. Add raisins. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until apples are lightly browned and tender. Remove from heat.

4. For the muffins: Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 teaspoon apple pie spice in a large bowl and stir well.

5. In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract; whisk well. Add to the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Fold in the cooked apples.

6. Spoon the batter evenly into the into 12 muffin cups. Remove streusel from refrigerator, and sprinkle evenly over the top of the muffins. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes before removing each muffin and placing on a wire rack to cool.

Here are more apple recipes from Food Blogga that you might enjoy:
Tuscan Torte di Mele (Apple Cake)
Apple, Fennel, and Celery Salad
Crunchy Veg Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing
Cranberry, Raisin, and Walnut Apple Sauce

Here are more apple muffin recipes you might enjoy:
Jumbo Fluffy Apple Walnut Muffins at Confabulation in the Kitchen
Apple Muffins with Maple Glaze at Recipe Girl
Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins at That's Not What the Recipe Says
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins at Bleeding Espresso