Sometimes I think inanimate objects are capable of feelings.
For example, my iPod gets into certain musical moods: the other day it was on shuffle of the 1303 songs and it played me Rascal Flatts for every other song for about 10 songs (there are only 75 Rascal Flatts songs on my iPod, FYI). Additionally, my rotovap knows when I'm watching it: it will be working perfectly fine, solvent coming off with no issues while I'm standing there watching it but the minute I turn my back to start cleaning some glassware, it decides to bump. The cup sink collecting the water running through my reflux condenser likes to play tricks on me: if it knows I need to use the restroom, the water falls just so and I can hear the sound of rushing water, otherwise it is mostly silent.
This week at the farmer's market, the bin of apples was speaking to my heart. I knew I needed to buy some for eatin' and for bakin'. I ate a few and baked another into these delicious apple crumble muffins. Both of my parents approved when they were in town. And the best thing about them-- they are practically diet. Within the muffin, the butter is swapped with canola oil and the egg with applesauce. Plus the chunks of fresh apples are delicious. Of course, the crumble has a little bit of butter in it, but who cares when it adds a little extra. They are moist and filling and a great way to start your morning.
Take a look at the picture below; aren't they just calling you to make them and consume them right away? They will tell you stories of autumn in an orchard during every bite.
Apple Crumble Muffins
For muffins (adapted from Carla's Confections):
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of ginger
dash of nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup natural applesauce
1/8 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 apple, cored, peeled and diced
For crumble topping (adapted from Better Homes and Garden Cookbook):
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp brown sugar
dashes of cinnamon, ground nutmeg and ground ginger, to taste/smell
1 1/2 tbsp cold unsalted butter
2 tbsp crushed walnuts
Add the vinegar to the milk and let sit for about 30 minutes (you are making sour milk here).
Preheat oven to 400 F. Add liners to a muffin tin.
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a small bowl. In another bowl, mix together the brown sugar, applesauce, sour milk, oil and vinegar. Add in the dry mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the diced apple. Fill the muffin liners about 2/3 full with the batter.
In another bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and seasonings for the crumble topping. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or two forks until it is coarse clumps. Mix in the walnuts. Sprinkle the crumble topping on the batter in the muffin tins.
Bake for approximately 18 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out cleanly.
Makes 12 muffins.