Is it just me, or have there been an awfully lot of tempting apple cakes out there lately? I’ve wanted to try them all, but I knew what would happen if I had an entire, big apple cake in this house. It would disappear too quickly, and I would need to spend a lot more time in running shoes. When I found this recipe for apple muffins, it seemed like a perfect compromise. Kurt loves muffins for breakfast, and a few could go into the freezer for a later date. The other part of this story is that one of those cake recipes that is tempting me involves apples and blackberries. When I found some fresh blackberries from Mexico at the grocery store, I had to add them to the tops of these muffins. I found the recipe on Epicurious, and it’s from the September 1997 issue of Gourmet.
My only changes to the original recipe were to bake the muffins at regular size rather than as mini muffins and to top them with blackberries. I left the apple chunks slightly bigger than one-quarter inch pieces and didn’t chop the walnuts fine either, but no big changes. While the muffins were baking, apple cider was simmered until reduced to a syrup. When the muffins were removed from the oven, they were poked on top with a skewer and then brushed with the syrup.
With apple chunks, walnuts, apple cider, and blackberries in the muffins, these were full of delicious. The syrup glaze on top kept the muffins moist and gave them a little shine. The walnuts were particularly nice with the flavor of apples and cider. This was a practical choice for satisfying my apple cake craving, but that doesn’t mean I won’t change my mind and bake a big, full cake in the very near future.