18 October 2009

Heavenly Banana Apple Walnut Muffins

From October 2009 Photos

I'm a big fan of The Sweet Melissa Baking Book. You might remember the very buttery and delicious Pistachio Linzer Thumbprints I made the last time I wrote about the book.

This recipe is greatly inspired the book's recipe "Mom's Banana Apple Bread," especially when it comes to the wonderful apple element. I noticed that I've been having trouble making successful recipes that require the use of a loaf pan (the original bread recipe was to be a loaf), so I noodled around with the recipe a bit and made muffins from it. The resulting muffins were fantastic. And, for my vegan friends, I have included ingredient swaps and directions.

From October 2009 Photos

The neat thing about this recipe is that the directions call for sauteing the apples in butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and brown sugar prior to adding them to the batter. Of course, I used agave nectar in my saute and substituted the most gorgeous Gala apples I've ever seen for the Granny Smiths. By the way, if you wanted a very simple dessert or topping, you could easily just make the apple portion of this recipe. I'd also recommend making this with pears. If you use apples instead of pears, increase the amount of nutmeg to 1/2 teaspoon. It just tastes better that way.

From October 2009 Photos

This is a close-up shot of the muffin's interior. As you can see, these are moist muffins with plenty of walnuts and apples. The original recipe does not call for walnuts, but if you're going to make banana bread, in my book you need walnuts.

From October 2009 Photos

The original recipe calls for a baking time of around an hour. So, if you're successful with loaf pans, that's your wait time. These little fellas took only 35 minutes in my oven.

I know the yield is weird (16 muffins) because I wound up putting muffin cups into ramekins and putting those in a pan filled about 1/2 in. with water next to the pan with the other muffins. That worked to keep them very moist, I'm sure. It also made them take a bit longer to bake than the others. In the future, I'd probably just fill a pan of mini muffins instead.

I also know that this is the second apple recipe in a row, but it's such a good season for apples. And, the Galas at the co-op have been especially tasty and crisp this year. Must be because we've finally had a real fall for a change.

OK, here's the recipe as I made it.

Heavenly Banana Apple Walnut Muffins (greatly inspired by The Sweet Melissa Baking Book recipe Mom's Banana Apple Bread)

Yields 16 standard muffins.


2 tablespoons butter (vegans: walnut or non-flavored oil)
2 tablespoons agave nectar
3 Gala apples, cored and cut into 1/2 in. pieces (I peeled mine and ate the peels, but you can leave the peels on.)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup rough chopped walnuts
1 stick butter, softened (vegans: equivalent amount of non-dairy spread)
2/3 cup agave nectar (you'll want amber for this recipe)
2 eggs (vegans: add 1/2 teaspoon baking powder to the dry ingredients and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the wet ingredients)
1/4 cup pineapple juice (the original calls for orange, but pineapple works fine)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 very ripe bananas, mushed


1. In a cast-iron pan, melt the butter until just pooling, then stir in the agave nectar until combined. Be careful here because you don't want to burn the agave nectar.
2. Add the apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla, stirring until the apples are completely coated with the mixture. Saute for about 3-5 minutes until the apples just begin to soften their edges.
3. Remove the apple mixture from the pan and set it aside while you make the batter.
4. In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, spices, salt, and walnuts until the dry ingredients are well mixed. This should take about 2 minutes.
5. Beat the butter and agave nectar until well combined. Add the eggs, juice, vanilla, and bananas.
6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix until just combined.
7. Fold in the apples, making sure they are evenly distributed.
8. Let the mixture rest while you line your muffin tins with paper cups and heat your oven to 325 degrees F.
9. Load up your muffin cups to the tops with the batter. They won't overflow much at all.
10. Bake the muffins for 30 minutes, then check with a bamboo skewer. They are done when the tester comes out with only 1 or two moist crumbs attached.
11. Let the muffins cool for 10 minutes in the pan before tilting the muffins in the pan (so that the underside cools) for another 30 minutes before eating.

These are best served warm and will keep for 3-5 days in an airtight container. They freeze very well if individually wrapped and bagged.


Anonymous said...

Yum! No need to make excuses for two apple posts...it is fall and I am obsessed with apples right now! These look fantastic :-)


Sophie Sportende Foodie said...

MMMMMMMMMMMM,...these tasty muffins look divine!

Yummie all the way,..

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks, Courtney and Sophie!

Amy said...

Oh! Ohhhhhhhh!!! YUUUUUUUUM!!! Those look fantastical!!!

Deb Schiff said...

Clean up, aisle 9! :)

Thanks Veg!