Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Apple, Turn Over
So it must be almost 6 years to the day that at my birthday party at the Pegu Club, I summoned enough liquid courage to approach Melissa Clark (who was there to celebrate her latest book launch - another long circuitous story) to tell her how much I loved her writing and her column in The NY Times. But honestly, who knows what exactly I said? All that I can recall is that she said something along the lines of, "Thank you so much," then asked me if it was my birthday and if I would prefer that she and her small group move to another table to make way for my ever expanding party. We must have been super annoying because even though I said, "No, it's no problem," she moved anyway. Or maybe I came across as scary stalker? Probably.
Anyhoo...I am still reading her column in The Times and I've been holding onto this apple muffin recipe for just over a year waiting for...what? I dunno. Fall is officially here so it seems as good a time as any to bake! And since apples are plentiful, I might as well bake them into something extra tasty. It's so tiresome to eat them raw. Yawn. You should definitely bake and serve (and eat!) these on the same day, preferably within a few hours of making them otherwise they will be super sogged-out the next day. Not cute. But the day you bake them they are extra cute and tasty, like little mini-cakes. My only question about the recipe was that Melis tells you to distribute the apple slices among the muffin cups but doesn't tell you what to do with the extra sauce. Should I have cooked it down to a glaze? Poured it all in the muffin tins? Poured it over my pancakes? What's a girl to do?? I poured about half of it over the apples in the muffin tin and then threw the rest away. I worried about all of that liquid. Maybe I'll just ask her the next time I run into her...my birthday is coming up.
Upside Down Apple Muffins
Adapted from Melissa Clark and The New York Times
For the Apple Topping:
3 apples (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pinch kosher salt
For the muffins:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Heat the oven to 375˚F. Generously grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, stir together the apples, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 6 tablespoons butter and pinch salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, about 15 minutes. Distribute the apple slices among the muffin cups.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the 8 tablespoons butter, eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold together until smooth. Distribute the batter on top of the apples. Bake until the muffins are slightly puffed, about 20 to 22 minutes.
5. Allow the muffins to cool for about 15 minutes in the pan. Turn onto a platter and serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 12 muffins.