150g plain flour
1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ level teaspoon ground cloves
1 level dessertspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
40g dark brown soft sugar
50g block butter, melted and cooled slilghtly
3 medium dessert apples, cored, then 2 grated and the other chopped into 1.5cm cube
For the topping:
1 tablespoon demerara sugar combined with ½ level teaspoon cinnamon
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6
Equipment: A Silverwood muffin tray lined with 6 paper muffin cases, generously brushed with melted butter
With muffins it’s always a good idea to have everything weighed and ready before you start
Begin by sifting the flour, spices, baking powder and salt into a bowl, lifting the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing.
Now, in another bowl whisk together the egg, sugar , milk and melted butter, then return the dry ingredients to the sieve and sift them straight into the egg mixture. (This double sifting is crucial because we won’t be doing much mixing.)
What you now need to do is take a large metal spoon and fold the dry ingredients quickly into the wet ones – the key word here is quickly (i.e. in about 15 seconds).
What you mustn’t do is beat or stir, just do the folding, and ignore the uneven appearance of the mixture because that’s precisely what makes the muffins really light. Over-mixing is where people go wrong.
Next, quickly fold in the grated apple – again no stirring. Now divide the mixture between the muffin cases. Arrange the cubes of apple on top of each muffin, pressing them down slightly.
Finally sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake near the centre of the oven for 25–30 minutes until well-risen and golden brown.
Remove the muffins from the oven and transfer them straight away to a wire rack to cool.
Store in an airtight tin or cake box.
Apples, as I’ve said before, are good in cake recipes, adding fragrance as well as moisture. So they’re perfect for muffins. In the autumn you could replace one of the apples with an equal weight of blackberries.