After I mentioned we were going apple picking last week, I didn't get a chance to follow-up and tell you guys about the trip. Despite the 80 degree weather, which doesn't exactly scream "fall," the outing was a huge success.
It was the end of a long, busy weekend at the orchard, but there were still plenty of apples to be picked. The best ones were really high up in the trees, though, so Shane did just about all of the heavy lifting that day.
Before leaving we grabbed an apple cider donut - I resisted the temptation on the way in, but succumbed on the way out. It was worth the splurge! We came home with well over 10 pounds of apples, which was about all we could justify in a house where only 1 person eats apples :)
For the first few days I was content to slice the apples and dunk them in caramel, but eventually the urge to get baking struck. These apple fritter muffins were first up, and they did not disappoint. They pack a hefty dose of apple-cinnamon goodness in a light and fluffy muffin with a sugary glaze on top. I brought them to Shane's marathon yesterday morning and they were a great breakfast treat to enjoy with his parents as we cheered for the racers.
The original recipe called for granny smith apples, but I didn't come home from the orchard with any of those, so I substituted 2 red-skinned apples. The trees weren't as well labeled as I'd have liked, so I'm not entirely sure what they were, but they were much sweeter than a granny smith. I reduced the sugar, and that's reflected in the recipe below, but if you use granny smith apples (or something else similarly tart) you might want to add a few extra tablespoons. If you want to keep the muffins a bit lighter for breakfast, you could also skip the glaze, but what fun would that be? :) The muffins were still light and tender days after I made them, but the glaze didn't hold up as well so if you're going to make these ahead of time I might wait to glaze them.
Apple Fritter Muffins
adapted from Chasing Some Blue Sky
2 large apples (use your favorite!), cut into 1/4 inch dice
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon hot water
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line two muffin pans with paper liners.
Add the diced apples, butter, sugar, cinnamon and water to a skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, about 8-10 minutes. Let the apples cool slightly then toss them with the flour to coat.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, whisk the applesauce, oil and both sugars until smooth and well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Alternately add the dry ingredients with the buttermilk, starting and finishing with the dry ingredients, and stirring gently just until the ingredients are combined. Fold in the apples.
Divide the batter among the prepared liners, filling each almost to the top. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until the muffins are golden and spring back when gently pressed on the top. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing them to the rack. Let cool slightly while you make the glaze.
To make the glaze: Whisk the melted butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and water in a small bowl until smooth.
When muffins have cooled slightly, hold the muffin upside down and dip the top into the glaze. Allow to set, then dip a second time and let harden again before serving.
Makes about 18-20 muffins