We make a lot of muffins around here. And with apples such a common snack, there are often half eaten ones left on countertops and discovered in lunchboxes. Years ago I started grating those apples nibbled around their middles into pancakes, muffins and loaves, rather than waste or compost them. There are few better aromas than spiced apple cakes baking in the oven – during the winter months, cakes and muffins make a great after-school snack, and are perfect packed into lunchboxes. They also freeze well, so you can bake them now for later.
Reminiscent of yesterday’s blander spice cake, these fragrant loaves combine fibre-rich apples and iron-rich molasses for a hearty and nutritious winter treat.
Apple Spice Muffins
The spice amounts listed here are negotiable. If you prefer a milder gingerbread, reduce the spices by half.
3-4 apples, Macintosh or any other variety, enough to total 2 Cups grated
1/4 cup water
1 cup molasses
2 tsp baking soda
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 tsp ground ginger
1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2-1 tsp ground cloves
1/2-1 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350F. Shred the apples on the large holes of a box grater. Add the water and apples in a saucepan and heat through. Stir in molasses and baking soda; set aside to cool.
Sift flour, spices, and baking powder until well mixed. Beat eggs with mixer for 2 minutes. With mixer running beat in sugar, then drizzle in the oil and extracts. Stir in cooled molasses/apple mixture. Sift dry ingredients over wet in 3 batches and gently fold together.
Generously spray mini loaf pans, muffin tins, round cake pans, or 9 X 13-inch baking pan.
Bake 25-50 minutes depending on the pan you use. Begin checking at 20 minutes until a toothpick in the centre comes out clean.
Recipe and photo courtesy of BC Tree Fruits