April 17, 2012

Apple Pie Cranberry Muffins

We have a huge old apple tree on the pasture that bears fruit every other year or so. We have no idea what variety it is, but since it's a late season fruit I assumed they were a baking-type apple. They are good to eat fresh, very tangy but a little starchy. We don't know why it doesn't bear fruit every year, but the years it does we have more than we can possible use.

The second season's harvest was so huge that I decided to try my hand at making apple pie filling. Other than the peeling, coring and slicing part, which we used on of those table attached hand cranks, it was easy. The result was a few dozen pints of apple pie filling, which created a new problem - if you call having too much food a problem. What do you do with all that filling, other than make pies of course. Turns out the filling works great in baked goods too. Here is a favorite recipe, perfect for on-the-go snacks.

Apple Pie Cranberry Muffins
Time = 30 min
Makes = 18 muffins

3/4 c sugar
1/2 c canola oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pint apple pie filling
1/2 c dried cranberries
1 c white flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon (add only if your filling doesn't include spices, if it does then skip the cinnamon)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 t salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, mix sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Add apple pie filling and cranberries. In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients, flour through salt, and then stir into the apple mixture. The texture should be sticky but not dry or runny. Adjust the consistency by adding water to moisten or flour to dry - 1 tablespoon at a time.
Fill lined muffin tins 1/3 full, leave about 1/4 inch head space. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a middle muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool in tin for 5 minutes, then remove to rack to continue cooling.

Notes: You can use raisins or dried currants instead of cranberries. And you can add 1/2 c chopped walnuts or pecans too.

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