Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcoming in 2010 with Upside-Down Apple Buttermilk Muffins . . .

It's a charming little muffin--quiet, unimposing, and . . . well. . . upside-down. Why upside-down? Not because that's what the recipe indicated, no. Not because I dropped the pan (no, I didn't drop the pan). Maybe because it didn't seem like any fun to start off the nascent decade by following the rules?

Wish I could take credit for such an innovative approach to the new year, but the fact is I took my eyes off the road and my hands off the wheel, so to speak, as I was filling the muffin pans. Those muffin cups were too full, and you know what that means. Let's just say these muffins look a lot cuter with their bottoms in the air, rather than their tops, and leave it at that.

In any case, these tender apple buttermilk muffins do taste good and are well worth making. The recipe is one I adapted from the book Morning Food by Margaret S. Fox. These can be whipped together by hand, using just a couple of bowls, well in time for breakfast. Besides apples and buttermilk, these feature oatmeal, too. They're not at all heavy, nor too sweet. Just a perky little muffin to help ease you into a new work week, a new year, a new decade.

Apple Buttermilk Muffins

(For a printable version of this recipe, click here.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan liberally with baking spray, or use paper liners.

1 cup rolled oats (I used quick oats)
1 cup buttermilk (I used low-fat)
3/4 cup All-Purpose flour (I used unbleached)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 pinch of cinnamon (or more if you prefer)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 Tbsp. melted butter, unsalted
3/4 cup of small diced, peeled apple pieces (use any apple that's very firm and sweet-tart)

In a large bowl, stir together the oats and buttermilk. Set aside for 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

Into the large bowl of oats and buttermilk, add the beaten eggs, melted butter, and sugar. Stir well.

Add in the flour mixture and stir just to combine. The batter will be lumpy. Fold in the apple pieces, taking care not to overmix.

Fill the muffin cups no more than two-thirds full (do as I say, not as I did; that is, unless you want to turn your muffins upside-down as well!).

Bake at 400 degrees for about 14 minutes, until golden, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.

Let the muffins cool in the pan on a rack for a few minutes, then take them out and let them cool more fully on the rack. If you like, flip them over and sprinkle the bottoms with a little cinnamon sugar while they're still quite warm.

Recipe full disclosure! This recipe was adapted from the recipe for Oatmeal-Raisin Muffins appearing on pg. 19 of Morning Food, by Margaret S. Fox and John B. Bear (Ten Speed Press, 2006)

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