Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Apple and Rosemary Muffins

Apple and Rosemary Muffins
Home Cooking

This post is from a couple of weeks ago but I somehow forgot about it so the photos have just been sitting in a folder, abandoned. I think part of the reason why is that I demolished these muffins as breakfast/snacks so speedily that it wasn't long before they were a shadow of the past. My original plan was to give some to mum and dad and some to Marc and not have to live with the pressure of finishing 12 muffins on my own. Two things happened that interfered with that scheme: 1) I got into the habit of eating breakfast (prior to that it was just instant coffee before work) and 2) I developed this paranoia that no one else would be able to cope with the rosemary, vomit out my food in disgust and put me off baking for life.

I personally LOVED the addition of rosemary. I took a basic apple muffin recipe and added the rosemary myself. It wasn't a very difficult or even innovative alteration. I really just chopped up some rosemary for the batter and put more on top of each muffin before baking. Apple and rosemary has been used in combination for yonks, mostly in savory items but it's definitely not unheard of in desserts. If you're after a boring plain old muffin, go on, click the original recipe. If you believe you only live once, want to try something different, get excited by savory elements in sweet things (or vice versa) or even just like rosemary, sprinkle some fresh rosemary in. It may surprise you!

Apple and Rosemary Muffins
Makes 12

  • 2 cups grated green apples (3 or 4 apples)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup wholemeal self raising flour
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • fresh rosemary leaves for decoration (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celisus. Grease a 12 cup capacity muffin tin. I have had bad experiences with batter sticking so I used baking paper cut into squares as muffin liners. You can obviously use proper liners but I like the look of the squares.
2. Combine the apple, brown sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla in a bowl.
3. Combine the flours, baking powder, cinnamon and chopped rosemary in another, larger bowl.
4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined.
5. Spoon equal amounts of batter into each muffin cup. Add a sprinkle of fresh rosemary leaves on top of each one.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
7. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

I found these to be absolutely perfect for breakfast, which is probably why I became reluctant to give any away. They aren't overly sweet or decadent. There's wholemeal flour and green apples involved so it's practically health food. Like with most homemade muffins, I didn't get that explosive muffin top that you get from store muffins. It didn't bother me so much in this case because I think the crunchy muffin tops are more important in chocolate-based muffins. These were more soft and giving rather than dense, sticky or mudcake-like.

As much as I love food (baked goods in particular), 12 muffins is too much for one girl at one time. I Googled the best way to preserve muffins and found that the general consensus is to individually wrap them in cling wrap and freeze them. Microwave before eating; they're lovely warm. I did this every morning and can safely recommend freezing as a good storage method.

With regards to the flavor, as I mentioned at the start, I was very taken by the rosemary and apple combination. If anything, I would add even more rosemary when making these again. There was something about that together with the wholemeal that gave the muffin an almost comforting/homey country vibe.  I ate mine warm with honey and ricotta. It was an amazing combination. I know that not everyone has ricotta lying around (I did from making the pumpkin pasta) but even if you omit that, honey alone is a grand addition to the rosemary and apple.

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