Thursday, February 2, 2012

Apple, walnut and flax muffins

Winter is not the best time for fruits other than apples and pears which are readily available and in season. We have eaten apple many ways for the last couple of months but not in muffins. These apple muffins are packed with walnuts, rolled oats and flax seeds making them delicious and full of fiber. I use a combination of olive oil and butter to keep them super moist and lightly sweetened with sugar and maple syrup.

The batter is pretty runny since there is milk and maple syrup and olive oil, but once baked it sets up nicely and produces very moist muffins. These muffins are good not only for breakfast but for any other time of day - the only time I wouldn't serve them is for dessert, since they are not 'dessert sweet'.

Apple walnut and flax seed muffins
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
½ cup Quaker old fashioned oats
2 tablespoons flax seeds
½ tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon apple pie spice 
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large organic egg
Scant ¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup organic maple syrup
½ cup whole milk
1 medium granny smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into short thin strips or julienne (I used a mandoline with the julienne attachment – or you could grate the apples using a food processor)
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Turbinado sugar i.e. Coarse brown sugar (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Line a regular 12 cup muffin pan with liners. Since this recipe yields 10 muffins, fill the two extra cups with water to prevent burning.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, flax seeds, baking powder, baking soda, apple pie spice and salt and mix well.
  4. In another medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the butter, olive oil, sugar and egg till well blended. Finally stir in the chopped apples and the milk till just mixed. [Over mixing will make the muffins tough]. At this point the batter will be quite wet, but don’t worry, they bake up dry.
  5. Scoop out the batter into the muffin cups all the way to the top. These muffins don’t rise too much.
  6. Place the filled tray in the middle rack of a pre-heated oven. Bake for 25 minutes till the skewer poked down the middle comes out clean and the muffins are a golden brown on top. [To make these muffins extra special you can sprinkle the brown sugar on top]
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Yield :10 regular sized muffins

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