So the other day, I leave the house in a big fat hurry, don’t have time to eat breakfast, and my rumbling stomach lures me into the corner bakery in my neighborhood, a bakery that makes wonderful New York bagels and some of the best lox spread I’ve ever tasted. Being in too big a rush to have them toast and prepare a bagel, I grabbed a cranberry muffin and ran out the door. I figured it would be extremely tasty since that is the way of their bagels.
Ouch. Wrong. So, so unbelievably and indescribably wrong. It was terrible! I couldn’t eat more than a few bites. The texture was all wrong – too dense and dry. Also, it didn’t taste freshly baked – more like it has been sitting somewhere for too long a time. The flavor was quite unimpressive, it almost tasted chemical-y, like they used a boxed mix or something. And adding insult to injury, there were hardly any cranberries! They had stuck a few fresh (and I use the term loosely) cranberries on top, and I found a few at the bottom of the muffin, but none in the middle.
Lest I be scarred for life, I decided to come home and make my own cranberry muffins, to erase the impression of that horrid, barely-edible foodlike concoction from the bakery. I had some dried cranberries, which I do like in baked goods, so I decided to go with those, even though the muffin I attempted to eat used fresh cranberries (or well, cranberries that were fresh at one point in time). And then I added an apple. Of course. Almost done with my stash, I promise.
These muffins are so delicious. Thank goodness. Perfectly moist, lots of tart cranberry flavor, and wonderfully fresh tasting. The scars are fading. Enjoy!
Source: adapted from The Providence and Rhode Island Cookbook by Linda Beaulieu
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 large egg
1/3 cup whole milk
½ cup canola oil
1 large apple, peeled, cored and diced
½ cup dried cranberries
Zest of 1 orange
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a standard muffin tin with liners. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and oil. Add to the flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Using a spatula, fold in the apples, cranberries, and orange zest.
Use your ice cream scoop to transfer the batter to the prepared muffin cups. Bake 14 to 20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then either turn them on their sides or remove them to a cooling rack. Serve warm or room temperature.
Makes 12 muffins.