The temperature is not cooperating, but today is the first day of fall. Thank goodness. I’m ready to turn on my oven and spend hours slow cooking food. I’m craving a hot bowl of soup on a cool, crisp autumn night. And I can’t wait to start cooking with fall produce.
Unlike summer produce, which needs nothing but a splash of olive oil and salt and pepper to be ready for the table, fall produce requires a bit more effort from the cook. Fortunately, my arms are ready to do battle with winter squash and I bought an extra peeler the other day in preparation for apples, sweet potatoes, and the like.
It’s good that I’m ready, as I have a lengthy list of recipes that I plan to make in the coming weeks. There will be another batch of applesauce (hopefully I’ll be able to acquire another bushel of North Carolina apples this fall) and I can’t wait to bake that standby comfort food favorite: chicken pot pie.
While my list is long, these Autumn Apple and Pumpkin Muffins occupied the top spot. Moist, perfectly spiced, and tasting of autumn, I wasted no time in making these muffins and they disappeared just as quickly. Pie spices, like allspice, nutmeg, and clove, season the canned pumpkin and tender chunks of Granny Smith apples dot the final product. Topped with a crunchy, sweet streusel these muffins are a real treat for breakfast, as a snack, or even as a delicious fall dessert.
Autumn Apple and Pumpkin Muffins – Printer Friendly Recipe
Makes about 18 muffins
Adapted from the recipe for Pumpkin Apple Bread in The Gourmet Cookbook edited by Ruth Reichl
This recipe originated at Rebecca’s Gourmet Bakery in Cary, NC. The original recipe is for two loaves, but I opted to double the streusel topping and bake individual servings instead. While the bread is delicious, I prefer the muffins as they cook more quickly and stay deliciously moist.
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 cups all purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 (15-ounce) can solid pack pumpkin (don’t use canned pumpkin pie filling)
¾ cup vegetable oil
2 ¼ cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place a rack in the center of the oven. Generously grease 18 muffin cups or line them with paper muffin liners.
In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the topping and rub between your fingers until the mixture is well combined. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, vegetable oil, sugar, and eggs. Slowly add the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Whisk until the flour is incorporated. Stir in the apple pieces.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups; filling them almost to the top. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the batter.
Bake for 18 to 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool briefly in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.