Monday, December 23, 2013

Apple-Pear-Granola muffin, yep it is all about fruits and granola in a moist muffin

Holidays are here and we have a few days off this week. Staying home, cleaning the house (long over due), catching up on some (forever postponed) errands and entertaining guests as we go along the week. It has been fun so far. BH has a childhood friend visiting from India and is so elated to spend time with him after many years. We went out to do some shopping yesterday but today I let the boys hang out together and have some manly fun :-). Weather wise, this week has been awesome, we had a teeny bit of snow earlier on last Friday and as expected, schools shut down and the Christmas break began a day earlier for the kids. The snow was not more than 1/2 inch on the ground but given the slopes and turns this region is known for, life usually comes to a stand still with a little bit of the white fluffy stuff. Since then, temperatures have improved a little and mornings are bright and sunny. I love white Christmas but I have started to enjoy the 'not so cold' Decembers also :-)
Recently I discovered a vegetables (and some more artisan baked stuff) home delivery service in our place. What piqued my interest is that these are mostly locally grown and many organic choices. While I am not an organic convert, I sit on the fence on this topic since organic makes sense to me with certain things and I feel it is overrated with certain other ingredients. I don't go out of the way to buy organic but locally grown interests me. For one, it recognizes the local farmers and ensures food doesn't get stale in transport. If my vegetables do not have beeswax coated over them to keep them looking fresh as they make their way from far off countries, if my fruits are not treated to help them sustain their long journey, I feel my food gets so much tastier and flavorful. So, I started to get a box of vegetables delivered from Full circle a month or so ago, best part of this delivery is the order is customizable every week, so I can check their list and choose what I need, this also means I get to plan my meals a little ahead of time. But I do miss going to the store, touch and feel the vegetables and randomly pick up stuff that appeals to me :-). There has to be some compromise and in any case, my new delivery service does not carry all the herbs and chilies and other stuff that I regularly use in my cooking, so I end up visiting my local store to pick up the essentials and some more. So far, the veggies and fruits I have got from full circle have been very satisfactory and taste delicious and I am planning to continue for a while before deciding whether to make it long term or not, if you are in Washington, Oregon or Californina, check out their website and see if you would like to order too.
As I was baking my fruit cake last week, DD came in and smelled the air and asked if she could take some to her dance class. The fruit cake as I mentioned in my post earlier is best tasting after it has rested for a good 24 hours, I didn't want to send a warm fruit cake :-). Since the oven was anyway hot, I thought of baking something else that gets ready in the next hour or so and could be eaten immediately. I had a big bunch of bananas and some apples and pears in the fruit basket. My first thought was to make my banana nut muffin but then I had sent a batch of them a few weeks earlier and didn't feel like doing an encore. I had seen a recipe for apple-granola muffin in a magazine recently and kept it aside since it called for a ready mix flour such as Bisquick. I just took the idea and made my own muffin recipe, used the apple and pear I had and the result turned out to be a delightfully moist on the inside with sweet tasting apples and slightly crunchy on the outside with the granola, yummy tasting muffins that also got some good reviews. Go ahead, make some for yourself, enjoy the Holidays with these baked goodies full of fruity goodness.
What do you need to make apple-pear-granola muffins?
Makes 15 medium sized muffins
Dry ingredients:
1.5 cups AP flour
1 Tsp baking soda
1 Tsp baking powder
1/8 Tsp salt
2 Tblsp granola
Wet ingredients:
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 big sweet apple
1 medium ripe pear
1 Tsp vanilla essence
How do you make apple-pear-granola muffins?
  • Pre heat over to 375F.
  • Wash apple & pear, peel and deseed them.
  • Cut the pear and half of the apple into bite sized chunks and puree them in the mixer.
  • Add the brown sugar, oil and vanilla essence to the mixer and blend them together once.
  • Chop the remaining half apple into tiny, long pieces and keep aside.
  • Sieve all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in to a large bowl. Repeat the sieving twice to distribute the leavening agents(soda and baking powder) evenly without lumps.
  • Pour the puree on top of the flour and mix gently with a spoon or fork until it is incorporated.
  • Add the chopped apple pieces and 1 Tblsp granola in to the batter and mix it.
  • Line the muffin tray, scoop out the batter into the individual dips. Top with a sprinkle of granola and bake it for 25-28 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
  • Take it out from the oven, let cool on the rack for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Use ripe pears as they puree easily and smoothly.
  • You can use a combination of whole wheat and AP flour (use 3/4 cup each) for a slightly healthier option.
  • I used my home made granola bars and crumbled them to make the spoon measure. If you do not have granola on hand, you can use quick cooking oats and dry fruits as a replacement or you can skip it entirely.
  • Both apple & pear do not have any over powering flavors and are mild, the muffins tasted delicious with this combination.


kitchen queen said...

delicious and awesome muffins.

NamsVeni Pothas said...

another Christmas delicious special. wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Perfect for holidays - wish you the very best of Holidays and Happy New Year.