Apple & Rosemary Muffins

I am one of those few people who are not a big fan of cinnamon and all spice flavor in desserts – and honestly I don’t particularly enjoy apple as a fruit either. Then why this dessert? Well, because I like challenging myself – coming up with a dessert recipe with apples and pairing them with something other than cinnamon, caramel, butterscotch or all spice was very exciting.

The flavors in this recipe remind me of fall, my favorite time of the year that I miss so much. I am a mountain person and Pondicherry is a beach town…the three kinds of weather here are hot, hotter and hottest. It’s a pretty city but I do miss fall a lot – the colors and the cool weather!

I chose to make muffins but you can totally make a cake or a loaf with this batter and method…its going to taste the same. Another thing that I tried with these muffins and really liked was dusting the muffin tin with sugar instead of flour (after your grease it). This added a subtle caramel coating to the muffins and since they are smaller in size than a cake – it was just the right amount, just to give it a hint of caramel so that the main flavor of rosemary and apples is not overpowered.

I used dried rosemary in the recipe – only because the store didn’t have any fresh rosemary the day I was making these muffins (of course)! So, like me if you cant get your hands on fresh stuff then you may use dried rosemary – you want to use a sprig though and not the one that’s all crushed up. I cooked the applesauce with a rosemary sprig and also added some rosemary leaves to the muffins on the top before baking. The rosemary leaves release its oil upon baking, adding a subtle burst of flavor on the surface of the muffin. The woody flavor of the rosemary blends really well with the apples. This muffin recipe is perfect for a cool morning or evening, the flavors will just warm you up.

Serving 8 muffins

Cooking time 20 minutes plus baking time

Things you will need:

For the batter

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3 eggs

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar + little more to sprinkle on top

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup apple sauce, (see below)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp milk (if needed)

slices of apples to place on top of the muffins – about 3 slices per muffin

few leaves of rosemary – to sprinkle on the the top

  1. Preheat the oven at 350 F. Prepare a muffin tin or an 8 inch cake pan.
  2. Mix or sift together flour and baking powder, keep aside.
  3. In a large bowl mix together butter and both sugars. With the help of an electric beater or a whisk, mix together till it gets fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time and continue to mix. Add vanilla extract.
  5. Add applesauce and mix with the help of a spatula.
  6. Fold in the flour and baking powder mixture – don’t over mix. Add milk if the batter feels too dry or thick.
  7. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin tin.
  8. Sprinkle few rosemary leaves on the top and add apple slices is desired direction/style. I added 3 slices per muffin but feel free to add as much as you like.
  9. Sprinkle some brown sugar on top of the muffin and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or till the muffins are cooked through. Cool on a rack, serve slightly warm.

For apple sauce

2 medium red apples, peeled, cored and diced into small pieces

1 sprig of rosemary, preferably fresh (can be substituted with a dry sprig)

1 1/2  tbsp sugar

2 tbsp water

In a saucepan over medium heat add all the ingredients and cook stirring regularly till the apples become soft, the sugar is dissolved and the water is absorbed. Keep mashing the apples with the back of a spoon while cooking – you are looking for a pulp-ish consistency. Turn the heat off and let cool. Remove the rosemary sprig before using the applesauce.