Apple Walnut Muffins: A Highlight of the Apple Season

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During our stay in August at the Maplestone Inn Bed and Breakfast, near New Paltz, New York, we enjoyed these marvelous muffins made by inn keeper Patte Roche. What we loved most about the muffins was the exceptionally large amount of diced apples suspended in them, in fact, there were more apples than batter. When Patty sent us the recipe, we were surprised to see that the apples supply the liquid in the batter. We adapted the recipe slightly to make 12 instead of the original 10 and we used clarified butter instead of oil as we love the flavor of butter. We clarified the butter to avoid adding extra moisture to the batter as the apples provide just the right amount. If you prefer to use oil, see note below.

Makes 12

Special Equipment One 12 cup muffin pan (preferably non stick), lightly coated with non stick cooking spray; Optional: number 30 (2 inch diameter) ice cream scoop

Batter
Makes 31.7 ounces/900 grams

Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C
Bake 25  to 35 minutes

Makes:  A 1-3/4 inch high cake

The Batter

INGREDIENTS

MEASURE

WEIGHT

volume

ounces

grams

unsalted butter (65° to 75°F/19° to 23°C), see Note

8 tablespoons (3/4 stick)

4 ounces

113 grams

unbleached or bleached all-purpose flour

1-2/3 cups, lightly spooned into the cup and leveled off

7 ounces

200 grams

baking soda

1/2 teaspoon

.

.

salt

3/8 teaspoon

.

.

cinnamon

1-1/2 teaspoons

-

-

nutmeg, freshly grated

3/8 teaspoon

.

.

walnut halves

3/4 cup

2.6 ounces

75 grams

2 to 3 tart apples such as Macoun, Rhode Island Greening or Empire

about 2-2/3 cups diced

12.2 ounces

350 grams

1 large egg

3 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon (47 ml)

1.8 ounces

50 grams

1 large egg yolk

1 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon (32 ml)

0.7 ounce

19 grams

superfine sugar

2/3 cup

4.7 ounces

133 grams

Preheat the Oven Twenty minutes or more before baking, set an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C.

Clarify the Butter Have ready a fine-mesh strainer suspended over a 1-cup glass measure with a spout.

In a small heavy saucepan, on very low heat, melt the butter. Raise the heat to low and cook uncovered, watching carefully to prevent burning. Move away any foam on the surface to check the progress. As soon as the milk solids resting on on the bottom, immediately pour the butter through the strainer into the glass measure, scraping the solids into the strainer.

Measure or weigh 6 tablespoons/89 ml/2.5 ounces/72 grams. Allow it to cool to warm to the touch or room temperature but still liquid. WE USED 67 which is 5 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons

Mix the Dry Ingredients In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Chop or break the walnuts into medium-coarse pieces and add them to the flour mixture. Whisk to combine.

Prepare the Chopped Apples Just before mixing the batter, peel, core, and dice the apples into 1/8 to 1/4 inch pieces. Place them in a large bowl.

Make the Batter Add the egg and yolk to the apples. With a silicone spatula, stir and fold them to coat the apples.

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Add the sugar and clarified butter and stir into the apple and egg mixture. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes so that the apples start exuding a little liquid.

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Stir in the dry ingredients until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. The batter will be thick and slightly dry.

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Use the optional cookie scoop or a large spoon to place the batter (2.6 ounces/75 grams) into each of the prepared muffin cups. The batter will fill each muffin cup nearly to its top.

Bake the Muffins Bake 25 to 35 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean, and the tops of the muffins feel crisp and are browned. (An instant-read thermometer should read around 210°F/99ºC.)

Cool the Muffins Cool the muffins in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

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Invert the muffins onto a wire rack and remove the pan. Gently dislodge any muffins that may have stuck. Reinvert the muffins on the wire rack. Cool completely.

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Store Room temperature, 1 day; refrigerated, 3 days.

Note Canola or safflower can be substituted for the clarified butter. Use 6 tablespoons/89ml/2.8 ounces/81 grams.

Highlights for Success The muffins are best when served soon after you make them or reheated for about 5 minutes (15 minutes if frozen) in a preheated 350˚F/175˚C so that the tops become crisp. (The large amount of apples can make the muffins to become too moist on storage, especially if they are put in a closed container.)