It’s always easy for me to embrace the official change of season when spring rolls around even if the weather is still wintry—“it’s spring!” When summer comes to an official end and the calendar reads, “First Day of Autumn,” that’s a little different story for my sandal-clad being to come to terms with. Don’t get me wrong; I do like the fall, it’s just, well, you know—it’s not summer anymore.
But, in addition to the glorious colors trees sport, a great thing about autumn is that it’s apple season. Apples are always delicious out-of-hand, and bake into a range of delicious goodies including muffins, which become a great treat for home or an easily transportable snack for work or school.
Unlike the mega-muffins with no flavor, these are compact and crunchy and rich with cheese and walnuts as well as tangy fruit, notes Regina Schrambling, who contributed this recipe to Real Food. You can make them sweeter if you like. Either way, they will hold up well at room temperature, and for a day or so if you leave them uncovered.
1⁄2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for muffin tin
1⁄2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1⁄2 c. whole milk
21⁄2 c. flour
21⁄2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher or sea salt
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1⁄4-inch dice
1⁄2 c. grated sharp Cheddar
1⁄2 c. chopped walnuts
Heat oven to 350°F. Butter a 12-cup muffin tin, or use baking cup liners.
Combine the milk and eggs in a measuring cup or bowl and beat the eggs lightly. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a second bowl.
Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in half the milk mixture, then add the flour, apples, cheese and nuts. Mix until combined, then stir in the remaining milk mixture until the ingredients are all moistened. Spoon into the muffin tin.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned.
Nutrition Info (Per Serving): Calories 281 (125 From Fat); Fat 14g (Sat. 7g); Chol 62mg; Sodium 279mg; Carb 34g; Fiber 2g; Protein 6g