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Country Applesauce Muffins

To make the applesauce for this recipe, peel, core and chop 2 1/2 lb. apples, such as Granny Smith, Newtown pippin or McIntosh. Place in a heavy saucepan with 1/3 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until very soft, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat. Mash the apples with a fork or pass through a food mill. Taste and add sugar if needed. The applesauce can be stored for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. It can be used at room temperature or cold in this and other quick bread recipes. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped, or 1 cup dark or golden raisins
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/3 cup almond oil, walnut oil or canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 heaping cup applesauce (see headnote above)
  • Unsalted butter for serving

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease 12 standard muffin cups with butter or butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, walnuts, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice.

In another bowl, whisk together the oil, egg and applesauce until smooth. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and stir in the applesauce mixture just until evenly moistened. The batter may seem dry at first, but it will loosen and smooth out as you beat the mixture.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them level with the rim of the cup. Bake until the muffins are golden, dry and springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Unmold the muffins. Serve them warm or at room temperature, with butter. Makes 12 muffins.

Notes: When measuring the applesauce for this recipe, use a cup for measuring liquids, such as a glass measuring pitcher, rather than a dry measuring cup. The muffin recipe may easily be doubled.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Muffins, by Beth Hensperger (Simon & Schuster, 2003).