Sunday, November 3, 2013

pick 'em, eat 'em, bake 'em

a little late in the season but we finally made it apple picking. we drove up to bishop's orchards in guilford, where we had first gone years ago. it was pleasantly warm that day and felt more like late summer than fall. the downside was that most of the apples had already been picked or had fallen off the branches; there were piles and piles of overly ripe apples around the tree trunks. sad.
we still managed to fill up a couple small bags with a decent variety of apples--golden delicious, braeburn, rome, empire, fuji, jonagold... even abby helped pick some.

after assessing our haul, i'd say my favorite was probably the golden delicious. with the other apples i decided to bake some fall treats. the first thing i made were apple muffins (which used only TWO large apples..leaving me with nine o.O). i used a recipe from smitten kitchen and was able to make a dozen muffins and two mini loaves. (had some minor issues with the loaves--gooey and underbaked? whoops~) the original recipe used two types of flour, but i only had all-purpose which worked out just fine. there were lots of apple chunks in each muffin, and the combination of the yogurt kept everything nice and moist. i think this recipe would work well as a cake-loaf, maybe i'll try that next.

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:: apple muffins ::
(adapted from smitten kitchen)
yield: 12 muffins and 2 mini loaves

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (4oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed, divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup (8oz) greek yogurt
2 large apples*, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped

preheat the oven to 450°F. grease and flour muffin tin and set aside.

mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside. in a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. beat until fluffy. add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. mix in the yogurt gently. stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apple chunks.

divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar on top. bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400°F, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

* since apple sizes vary, you might not need all the apple chunks. use your discretion on how apple-y you want the muffins.

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