Apple Cranberry Walnut Muffins

Apple Wanut Cranberry Muffins

It’s a very sad time of year when the CSA season draws to a close.  Fortunately, the holidays are here, so that will take everyone’s mind off of the loss.  But with the cold of winter encroaching, and the fresh vegetables now gone, you may need more than Thanksgiving dinner to take your mind off of it all.  Maybe muffins will do the trick?  I know they always brighten my morning, and this apple cranberry walnut muffin recipe should get you ready for thanksgiving by letting you reflect back on the great year that is behind us, and giving you a moment of pause for the bounty that we’ve all been so fortunate to be a part of.

{Recipe and Remembrances after the jump.}

This season has been a lot of fun.  I know I’ve had a chance to try a lot of vegetables that I’ve never cooked with before.  Purslane?  Check.  Kohlrabi?  Double check. (and check out my previous recipe here: https://redhookcsa.com/2011/08/02/kohlrabi/ ).  Sweet potato leaves?  Check again.  And I’ve also had the opportunity to cook with my old favorites, like okra, tomatoes, beets, and turnip greens.  All in all, it’s been a great season, and I’ve had a great time sharing with you some of the recipes that I’ve created this year.  It hasn’t always been easy.  Some weeks I’ve struggled to come up with creative ways to use ingredients, such as zucchini and greens.  Some weeks my recipes have been a little broad and complex.  And other times I’ve shared with you some of my old favorites from the south as well.  But, through it all, I’ve enjoyed being able to share my creations with you, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about most of them.

Since this is the last week of our CSA shares, I didn’t want to leave you with pounds of fruit in your fridge at the end of the year.  I know that, with so much fruit available at the end of the year, it is a little more difficult coming up with new ways to make use of it every week than it was when you only had to worry about a box or two of berries.  I’ve baked and I’ve cooked and I’ve snacked my way through much of it, but I know that, if you are like me, you may be looking for new ideas.  Since I’ve started baking this year, I’ve found muffins are a very easy way to not only use excess fruit, but also to have a ready to heat breakfast in the morning.  This recipe makes use of both fresh apples and apple cider to give a double shot of flavor.  The cranberries and walnuts are there to give a little more interest to the muffins, and can be easily substituted with other dried fruits or nuts of your choice.   — Adam Gregory

Apple Cranberry Walnut Muffins

 

Servings: 12 medium muffins

Cooking time: around 20 minutes (preparation+ 25 minutes (baking)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ cup White Sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ¾ cup CSA Apple Cider
  • ⅓ cup Canola Oil (or other neutral flavored oil)
  • 1 CSA egg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½  medium CSA apples
  • ¼ cup Died Cranberries
  • ⅓ cup Walnuts

Directions:

1) Pre-measure your flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a mediuml bowl.  Stir or whisk all ingredients to combine well.  Reserve.

2) Roughly chop the dried cranberries.  Reserve in a separate bowl.

3) Roughly chop the walnuts.  Reserve in a separate bowl.

4) In a large bowl, combine the oil, apple cider, and egg.  Whisk to combine.

5) Wash 2 medium CSA apples.  You’ll only need 1 ½  apples for recipe.  The muffins may hold a bit more, but I’m not sure if they can really hold the full two apples and rise properly.  Enjoy the extra fruit as a snack while the muffins bake.  Any apple should work well and can be used depending on your taste for sweet or tart apples.  Peel the apples and remove the core.  Cut the apples into a small dice.

6) Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

7) Dump your dry ingredients all at once into the large bowl containing your wet ingredients.  Stir for around 10 seconds to combine.  Do not overmix.  The batter will be lumpy, but you’ll only need to mix to combine everything.  Nothing more.

8 ) Add the apples, walnuts, and cranberries.  Mix to combine, and mix as little as needed to do so.

10) Lightly oil 12 medium baking cups or or a mufiin tin for 12 medium muffins.  There is a certain big box retailer in the area that sells silicone baking cups for a very inexpensive price.  I personally think these are great, but whatever you use will work fine.

11) Fill your cups/tin around ⅔ – ¾ full with batter.  Start with a heaping spoon full in each cup, and then top off with the remaining batter to get an even fill.

12) Place cups on a sheet pan and place in oven, or place muffin tin directly in oven.  Bake for around 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out relatively dry.  Note that it will be a little sticky, and may have the crumbs clinging too it, but it shouldn’t come out gooey and wet.

13) Place the muffins on a heat resistant surface or baking rack to cool for around 5-10 minutes before eating.

Enjoy!

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