I once read that if you plant an apple tree, you’ll be growing apples for the whole neighborhood. I’m beginning to understand what that person meant.
Our tree is still a younger one. We’ve had it for about five years now, maybe six. Each year the number of fruit has gotten bigger, though to be honest it’s not hard to beat our very first harvest of five apples. So far we’ve had no problem eating them all up, but I’m looking at what’s on the tree right now and realizing that it’s a good thing that we like apples.
But seriously, what’s not to like? This is truly a versatile fruit that is just as good eaten fresh as it is in baked goods, pies, and even dried. Add to it the fact that they are high in pectin so even the scraps are useful for making jams and jellies. I’m thinking we won’t have to try too hard to use up our harvest each year.
One of the things that inevitably happens to apples after sitting for a while is that they can start to get a little… ahem… mealy. It’s like eating apple flavored sawdust. Not exactly the best texture. However, even the worst apple can be resurrected (unless it’s rotten, I can’t help you there). As long as you’ve got yourself a good recipe to use them in, an old apple can shine as well as a crispy and fresh one. Good thing, because I foresee a lot of apples in my future that might be in the fridge a while before I can finish them!
These muffins are just that kind of recipe. No, you don’t need to have old apples, but if that’s what you have then no worries. These muffins are moist, lightly sweetened, and made with a healthy dose of wheat bran. Wheat bran actually adds a nice flavor as well as texture to baked goods like these muffins. I completely reject the notion that muffins are supposed to be cupcakes in disguise, while at the same time firmly believing that they should still taste good. And according to my family, who scarfed these down in an unbelievably short time, these taste good.
Whole Wheat & Bran Apple Muffins
This recipe should make 1 dozen muffins. The pictures above show a double recipe.
- 1 cup wheat bran
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or 1/2 cup each wheat flour and all purpose flour)
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup olive oil (extra virgin preferred)
- 1/4 cup melted salted butter
- 1 1/2 cup diced apple (be sure to save your peels and cores for making jellies and jams!)
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly grease a muffin pan with butter or olive oil.
In a large bowl add all the dry ingredients (the first six items). I measure flour by whisking it and then gently scooping it into the measuring cup. Combine the ingredients together.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until light yellow and foamy. Add the milk, sugar, oil, and butter and beat together well. Stir in the apples and pecans.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently stir them together. You don’t want to over mix as that will make your muffins tough. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin cups. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the middle of one comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes on a cooling rack before trying to remove the muffins. Use a spatula or thin knife to loosen the muffins as needed to remove them from the pan and then allow the muffins to cool on the rack. These taste great on their own, but don’t let me stop you from smearing a little butter, cream cheese, or drizzle of honey on them! Enjoy!