Tag Archives: apples

Apple Granola Muffins

3 Mar

I love muffins. What’s not to love? Other than muffin pans, you don’t need any special equipment. They’re simple to throw together and are basically your own personal mini-cake. You can also take a basic recipe and add all sorts of fruits, spices or other flavorings.

For these muffins, I’ve taken my basic sour cream muffin recipe and added granola, apples and cinnamon. You can use any granola you like, homemade or one you like from the cereal aisle. Mixing some into the batter adds a little texture and sprinkling some on top gives you an instant crumble topping. Yum.

I use diced apples tossed with cinnamon and brown sugar in this recipe, but you can replace the apples with fresh or frozen blueberries, diced peaches or pears or any other fruit. The fruit to batter ratio is high – and that’s what I want. The fruit keeps the muffin moist and I think every bite should have fruit in it.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil (canola, grapeseed, or other similar oil)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus 1 tbsp to toss with the apples)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 3/4 cup granola (plus more for sprinkling on top)
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored and diced small (I like to use Pink Lady, Ambrosia or similar apple)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Using a sturdy spoon, cream the granulated sugar and oil in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined.

Add the salt, baking powder and baking soda and mix in. Add the flour and stir until JUST combined. You don’t want to overmix the batter and having some small lumps is good. Add the granola and stir through.

In another bowl, combine the diced apples, 1 Tbsp flour, cinnamon and brown sugar. Stir together until all of the apples are coated in the sugar/ flour/ cinnamon mixture.

Add the apples to the batter, including any excess sugar that may be at the bottom of the bowl. Gently stir the apples into the batter. Don’t worry about the apples being enveloped in better – you should see lots of chunks of apples and streaks of the cinnamon/ sugar should still be visible.

Spray your muffin tins – I prefer using baking spray that contains flour. Using standard muffin/ cupcake tins, fill the cups to the top. You should get approximately 18 muffins. Sprinkle each muffin with more granola, about 1 tsp per muffin.

I like to bake one pan at a time on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the pan and bake another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown.

Remove and let cool. These are best eaten the day you bake them, but kept in a sealed container will be good on the counter for a couple of days.

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Cinnamon Apple Dutch Baby Pancake

30 Jan

When I was in junior high, we were taught how to make what we called ‘apple pancakes’ in cooking class. It was many years later that I learned this was a version of a Dutch-Baby pancake which may be a version of a German pancake and is oddly similar to a popover.

I remember that after I learned to make these, I was trotted out by my parents to make them for guests on a few occasions, but then the recipe was forgotten and the only time we enjoyed an apple pancake was when we visited a local restaurant chain.

This morning, about 30 years after I made my last Dutch Baby, I woke up after dreaming about them and decided it was time to reintroduce them into my cooking repertoire (though I no longer had the original recipe).

The thing about Dutch Babies is that they’re delicious, seem really impressive but are absolutely easy to make.

You can do different things with the basic recipe, like leaving out the apples, cinnamon and brown sugar and making a vanilla pancake that you dust with icing sugar and sprinkle with fresh berries. Or leave out the apples, cook the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon for a few minutes and then add a couple of handfuls of fresh blueberries or diced fresh peaches right before you pour the pancake batter in. But I think the apple cinnamon version is my favorite.

Batter

  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Apples

  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 2 large apples (Ambrosia, Pink Lady or similar), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Place all of the batter ingredients into a blender and blend until combined and all of the lumps are gone. You can also use an immersion blender or a good whisk to combine well. Set aside while the apples cook.

Most recipes call for a cast iron skillet, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry. Use a 10 to 12 inch oven safe skillet to melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the sliced apples, brown sugar and cinnamon and cook for about 5 minutes, until the apples start to soften and the butter/ sugar mixture is simmering and has thickened slightly.

Pull the pan off the heat, move the apple slices around so that they’re evenly distributed and slowly pour the batter over all of the apples.

Place in the preheated oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the pancake has puffed up and is golden brown across the top and dark, caramelized brown around the edges. Dust with powdered sugar and/or maple syrup on the side and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Apple Pecan Baklava

19 Sep

I love baklava, especially made with pecans (I’m highly allergic to pistachios and not overly fond of walnuts, but you can use either of those or a mixture) and I also love apple strudel made with light, crispy phyllo dough.  I realized that combining the two couldn’t be bad and created this Apple Pecan Baklava.

If you don’t follow the tradition of not eating nuts for Rosh Hashana, this would make a lovely dessert for  the holiday — if you do, then just save this and make it for another occasion.  Enjoy!

                          Apple Pecan Baklava

apple baklava

  • 1      lb.  phyllo dough
  • 1/2  cup  butter or margarine — melted

                        Apple Layer

  • 2     lb.  Granny Smith apples — peeled, cored and diced
  • 2     Tbsp.  honey
  • 1      Tbsp.  cinnamon
  • 1     Tbsp.  flour

                        Nut Layer

  • 4   cups  pecan halves — approx. 3/4 lb.
  • 2   Tbsp.  sugar
  • 2   tsp.  cinnamon

                        Syrup

  • 2/3   cup  honey
  • 2/3   cup  sugar
  • 1 1/4   cups  water
  • lemon zest — from 1 lemon
  • orange zest — from 1 orange
  • 2  Tbsp.  fresh lemon juice
  • 2  Tbsp.  fresh orange juice

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Apple layer:  Place the apples, honey and cinnamon into a non-stick skillet, stirring over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until any liquid has evaporated and the apples have softened.  Remove from the heat and add flour, stirring until it’s mixed in.  Cool.

Nut Layer: Place the pecans, sugar and cinnamon in the food processor.  Pulse until the pecans are coarsely ground.  If you start with ground pecans (3/4 lb.) just mix them with the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.

Assemble: Melt the margarine/butter and use a pastry brush to coat a  3 qt. or 13x9x2″ baking dish.  Cut the phyllo sheets in half, then lay one sheet on the bottom of the baking dish.  Lightly brush with butter/margarine and repeat with another 5 layers of phyllo.  Sprinkle 1/4 of the nut mixture (about 1 cup) over the phyllo, and layer another 5 sheets of phyllo, continuing to brush each sheet with butter/margarine. Repeat the nut mixture and another 5 sheets of phyllo, then add all of the cooked apples, spreading them out in an even layer.  Top with another 5 sheets of phyllo, 1 cup of nuts, 5 sheets of phyllo, 1 cup of nuts and then top it off with the final 7 sheets of phyllo.

Use a serrated knife to carefully cut the baklava into pieces.  Traditionally, baklava is cut diagonally, so that the pieces form diamonds.  Make sure you cut right through to the bottom.

Place in a preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes or until a dark golden brown.

Syrup:  As the baklava bakes, prepare the syrup.  Place all of the syrup ingredients into a pot over medium-high heat and stir. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.  Keep the syrup warm (on a very low element) until the baklava has finished baking. Remove the baklava from the oven and carefully pour the syrup through a strainer, over the baklava.  Once the liquid hits the baklava, it may start to boil and splatter, so be very careful.

Let the baklava cool for at least an hour before serving.  Can be made a day ahead.