Laura’s Apple Muffins

We say goodbye to the banana muffins and move on now to apple-based recipes. This is a good thing, as we have lots of apples on hand from our annual trip to the orchard and they are getting kind of mealy for satisfactory snacking.

A word about “Laura” – I have no idea who Laura was. It’s not a family name, so clearly she was a friend of Dorothy’s. There are no recipes that bear my name but I wish there were! A life goal – to invent something that will be named after me.

The recipe

Cream together in medium-sized bowl

1/4 cup shortening or margarine

3/4 cup white sugar

Add to above

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 egg, beaten

Stir together and add to above, then stir to moisten

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Add gently

1 1/2 cups peeled, chopped apples

1 tbsp. cream

350F, 20 – 25 minutes.

The process

Right off the bat, we had a discussion about what to use for the fat: shortening, margarine, or butter. For the sake of authenticity (ugh, that is an overused word, isn’t it?) I decided to go with shortening. Also I had some in the cupboard from my Adventures in Pie Crust Making, and really wanted to use it up.

I used an electric mixer to cream the shortening and sugar. Added the vanilla and oops – accidentally added a full teaspoon instead of a half. Bear that in mind if you decide to make these muffins; I cheated on the vanilla.

As I combined the dry ingredients with the wet, I started to worry – this is a thick, heavy batter. Sticky. And it seemed like a ridiculously small amount lying there in the bottom of the bowl.

A cup and a half of apples is about three smallish ones. I chopped them quite fine because I do not like big chunks of anything in baked goods. If you look back at the recipe, you’ll see that the muffins are almost equal parts flour/sugar and apples; now imagine adding the apples ‘gently’. I had a bit of a freakout at first, because it seemed like they would never combine; adding the cream (I used ‘blend’ or ‘half-and-half’) helped, and gradually it became a smooth batter studded with apple pieces.

The batter filled 12 muffin cups about 3/4 full.

The result

The muffins were not done at 20 minutes, so I put them back in for an additional five minutes, which did the trick. I was pretty skeptical when I took them out of the oven; they did not rise much at all, and were browner on top than I would have liked. But then I tasted one and WOW, these were really good.

Moist on the inside, with a slight sweet crunch on the top, these taste like the muffin version of apple pie, if that makes any sense. The spicing really shines through and the apples softened to a very pleasing texture.

Michael and I devoured the test muffin even though they weren’t cool enough to eat yet, fanning our mouths to keep them from burning.

Laura, whoever she was, knew how to make a muffin.

Next week, Apple Cinnamon. Yum.

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2 comments on “Laura’s Apple Muffins

  1. MaryP says:

    Oh, my goodness! BEST BATTER EVER!!!! I don’t know if it’s the cinnamon, or maybe the cream, but sooooo good. I made a double batch, on with regular sized cups and one as mini muffins. The first batch is in the oven, so we haven’t eaten a cooked one yet, but mmmmmm, that batter!

  2. […] so many better muffin recipes in Dorothy’s book, including last week’s delicious “Laura’s Apple Muffins“, that I don’t think I would make this one […]

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