I don't even remember tearing this recipe out of a magazine, it's been sitting on my shelf in my to-make folder for so long. Why has it taken me so long to make these? Well, I have a confession. I actually don't really like fruit in things. While I know I'm not alone in this, I do recognise that I am in quite a minority. You'd never catch me eating a slice of fruit loaf. I always ask for just custard at Christmas dinner when everyone else is opting for pudding. I'm the annoying person who only eats the topping off a crumble. I don't even like the sweet nan bread that has raisins in it (don't get me started on raisins).
I love fruit. I just don't like the texture of it once it goes soggy, which is what happens when you bake it. Dried raisins are nice - I have very fond memories of little red Sunkist raisin boxes being terribly exciting and delicious. Raisins in cakes that swell up and absorb moisture... I can't even talk about them. (Side note: biting in to what you believe to be a chocolate chip cookie, only to discover it's a raisin cookie? Very high up on my list of disappointing things in life.)
Next time I think I'll use butter rather than oil, omit the almonds altogether as well as the topping and see what happens!
Apple and Cinnamon Muffins
(Source: Nigella Lawson, in You Magazine December 2010)
Yield: 10 medium-sized muffins
for the muffins
2 eating apples (I used 4 tiny ones)
250g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
125g light brown sugar
60ml runny natural yogurt
125ml flavourless vegetable oil
2 large eggs
35g unblanched almonds, chopped
for the topping (optional)
30g unblanched almonds, chopped
4 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
+ Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
+ Line your muffin tin with paper cases.
1. Peel and core the apples, then dice them (about 1cm, but as Nigella insists - don't measure them, unless you find that kind of thing fun!) and put to one side.
2. Measure out the flour, baking powder and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in a bowl, and set to one side.
3. Whisk together the brown sugar, honey, yogurt, vegetable oil and eggs in another bowl.
4. Chop the almonds roughly and add half of them to the flour mixture, placing the other half in a small bowl with the second teaspoon of ground cinnamon and the four extra teaspoons of brown sugar. This is your topping, if you're choosing to make some!
5. Fold your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients, and then add the apple and stir to combine. A lumpy mixture is a good thing when it comes to muffins as it makes them lighter, so don't over-beat!
6. Spoon your mixture into the waiting cases, and top with your topping mixture if you're using it.
7. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for approximately twenty minutes, until they're risen and golden.
8. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for five minutes, before transferring to a wire rack and allowing to cool completely.