Cranberry Apple Harvest Muffins
I made these muffins for a few reasons. One, none of the breakfast cereals that I usually like sounded good to me. Two, we had a lot of apples to use up from the orchard. And three, I hoarded cranberries last fall/winter and decided it was time to use some – you know, so I can hoard some more this year :) I made several substitutions based on what I had around the house and the kind of flavor I was going for. The store was out of fresh figs so I just used some dried figs and rehydrated them, and they actually turned out to be delicious. I also think raisins would be a lovely substitution here.
The mixing method is slightly unique or at least one I haven’t tried before. Basically you combine the dry ingredients as usual, make a well and mix in the liquids, and then mix in the fruits and sugars all at once. I was concerned this might lead to overmixing and therefor a tough muffin, but it didn’t cause any problems at all. The cake part of the muffin was tender and wonderfully spiced, bringing all the mix-ins together nicely. Though I’ve never been much of one for mixing nuts into my baked goods, I think some pecans or walnuts would be great here as well. These made for some nice breakfasts, and definitely a nice change from the usual.
Yield: 12 muffins
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1 large egg
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¾ cup coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
¾ cup peeled and chopped apple
½ cup diced Calimyrna figs (or dried figs, or raisins)
6 tbsp. packed brown sugar
6 tbsp. granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and giner; whisk together. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add in the milk, egg and melted butter. Stir quickly just to combine. Add the cranberries, apples, figs and both sugars to the bowl. Stir just enough to distribute the fruits and sugars evenly throughout the batter.
Divide the batter evenly between the paper liners. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until browned on the top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook