FOOD POST TIME Y’ALL. Mixing sweet and savory is kind of my jam, and while my usual breakfast is pretty modest (yogurt with some almonds, fruit and a protein bar, toast with peanut butter and honey, etc) I actually have a huge weakness for breakfast pastries and muffins and sweetbreads and so on. These muffins — with no butter but full of omega-3’s from olive oil, and fiber from apples and whole wheat flour — let me pretend that there’s some sort of vague nutritional value in something so tasty. These seriously are delicious — you’ll be amazed at how light and fluffy they are and at how well the flavor of the olive oil comes through. They’re amazing right out of the oven spread with some fig jam or mascarpone cheese or apple butter, but keep pretty well wrapped in foil for a few days as well.
BLACK PEPPER AND OLIVE OIL APPLE MUFFINS
recipe after the jump, adapted from here
1 cup whole wheat or whole grain pastry flour (the Arrowhead Mills kind is nice)
3/4 cup white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to your taste
3/4 cup white sugar (I use the unbleached kind, but whatevz)
4 Tbsp milk
2/3 cup olive oil
2-4 apples, depending on the size (like, 4 small organic Gala or 2 giant ones)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used almonds, but walnuts would be tasty too)
Preheat oven to 350. Slap some liners into your muffin tin, these will be hella sticky if you don’t.
Mix the flours and baking powder and salt and spices, stir with a fork so it’s not too lumpy. Make ‘em as spicy as you want: I’m terrible about measuring these things and always just eyeball it. The black pepper is the most important, and the rest of it — cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves — I just toss in as I want. I probably used about 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 of nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves. You don’t want it SUPER spicy, just a hint.
Get your mix-ins for later ready: chop up the nuts medium-coarse. Peel and chop half of your apples, and then peel and then grate the other half with the coarse side of your cheese grater. Like the size you use to grate carrots usually. (Throw out or compost or whatever the core and seeds and skin and stem, obviously.) I used small organic Gala apples, so I grated 2 and chopped 2. If you’re using giant irradiated Granny Smith or something, you probably only need 2 apples.
Mix the eggs and sugar in a bowl and whisk real hard until combined and sorta creamy. Add milk, beat again. Mix in the olive oil, whisk again. Try not to splash it on yourself since getting oil out of clothing SUCKS.
Dump in the flour mixture in two parts and mix with a spatula until just combined. Get that bowl of shredded and chopped apple and dump it in, along with the nuts. Fold in gently until combined.
These don’t rise a lot, so feel free to fill the muffin tins nearly to the top. Sprinkle with coarse or turbinado sugar. Bake around half a hour, checking frequently, until tops are solid, a little springy to the touch, and just beginning to brown around the edges. Toothpick should come out more or less clean.
Take ‘em out, let ‘em cool, and then try not to eat them all at once because they are THAT good.