Thursday, September 22, 2011

Apple Streusel Muffin

With rain on a daily basis and cooler evenings, summer is officially over for me. Despite being away for more than 2 months and busking under the hot sun of Malaysia, I always prefer the warmer days than winter days. It was great to experience the remaining of the summer here for the past 2 weeks and thanks to my hubby, he managed to freeze a big box of the summer blueberries from this year's batch. And I guess when the days do really get colder, I shall pull it out and bake something with it to remind me of how great and short lived every summer is.

Although the leaves on the trees have not peak nor shown any colors of Fall yet, the apples and pumpkins are definitely making their entry to this season quick and plenty. To me, apples are the ultimate fruit. Easy to pick with many varieties to choose and always ready to eat with skin on, grabbing one for a snack or to complete a meal always reassures me that I am eating the less of all calories food and something that a doctor actually recommends without limitation of how many I can eat per day. Someone I know once lamented that apple is the most boring fruit but I beg to differ, especially when I have all the pleasure of being able to pick fresh ones from the trees and to use each and every type for different cooking method and my baking experimentation.

For this recipe, I used the McIntosh apples which is more softer in texture and tart in taste. After baking with apples for years, I find that using brown sugar, regular or light gives the overall baking a better color and provides a more in depth caramel aroma and taste. If possible, do use brown sugar in place of regular white sugar. If time is limited, apple sauce from a jar can be used instead for the batter but making from scratch allows you to control the amount of sugar added with consideration given to the tartness of the apples themselves. For these muffins, using very ripe Red Delicious will also be a good substitute.

Recipe (Makes 12)

Ingredients :
Apple Sauce
2 large McIntosh apples, peeled and diced (weighing about 350g after skin peeled and cored)
1 cup water
1/2 tsp Baking Soda

Streusel topping
50g All purpose Flour
30g Light Brown sugar
35g Soft butter

200g Self Raising Flour
1 large egg
60g Soft Butter
60g Light Brown sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon Powder

Method :
Apple Sauce
1. Bring the diced apples and 1 cup of water to a rolling boil. Lower the heat to cook slowly.
2. Apples will disintergrate and starts to turn mushy after about 10 mins. Continue to stir and cook for another 7 mins till the apples turn all mushy and thick.
3. Turn off heat and leave to cool at room temperature.
4. Stir in the Baking soda till dissolved. The mixture will turn slightly foamy. Leave aside till ready for use. Start Preheating the oven to 350F/180C. Line 12 muffin cups with paper cup liners.

Streusel Topping
1. Stir the flour with the brown sugar together.
2. Cut the butter into smaller pieces and drop into the flour mixture. Using a food processor, process the mixture for a short 10 seconds.
3. Set aside and prepare the batter.

1. Beat the butter and sugar till creamy and light.
2. Beat in the egg to combine.
3. Stir the flour and cinnamon together in a different bowl.
4. Take half of the apple sauce and mix it into the butter, sugar & egg batter.
5. Next fold in half of the flour & cinnamon mixture into the batter.
6. Add in the remaining half of the apple sauce and mix into the batter.
7. Lastly, fold in the remaining half of the flour.
8. Divide and spoon the batter into the paper liner, filling up to half.

1. Sprinkle the streusel topping onto each of the muffin batter cups.
2. Bake on the middle rack for 25 mins till brown.
3. Turn off the oven and let the muffins sit inside the oven for another 5 to 7 mins.
4. Remove and let cool on he rack.

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