Basic cinnamon apple muffins
Ingredients* Melted butter or margarine (optional), for greasing* 300g (2 cups) plain flour * 1 tbs baking powder * 2 tsp ground cinnamon* 150g (3/4 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar * 2 medium (about 375g) Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled, chopped* 125g (3/4 cup) seedless raisins* 125g butter or margarine, melted, cooled* 2 eggs, lightly whisked* 185mls (3/4 cup) milkMethod1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare your ingredients. You will need 12 medium (125mls/ 1/2 cup) muffinpans. They are available in trays of either 6 or 12. Non-stick muffin pans are wonderful to use as theydon't need greasing. If you aren't using non-stick pans, brush the pans with the melted butter or margarine to lightly grease. Alternatively, line the pans with paper muffin cases.2. Sift the plain flour, baking powder and cinnamon together into a large bowl. The baking powder actsas a raising agent and will help give the muffins a light texture. Stir in the brown sugar, apples and raisinsuntil well combined.3. Whisk together the butter or margarine, eggs and milk until well combined. Blending the wetingredients before adding them to the flour mixture makes it easier to evenly combine the two.4. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a large metal spoon until just combined. It isimportant that the ingredients are only just combined. If the mixture is over-mixed, the cooked muffins willhave a tough texture.5. Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin pans.6. Bake the muffins in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through. To test if theyare cooked, insert a skewer into the centre of one - if it comes out clean, it is ready If not, cook for a littlelonger before testing again. When cooked, remove from oven and stand for 2-3 minutes before turningonto a wire rack. Letting them stand makes them easier to remove from the pans. Serve warm or at roomtemperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 day.Notes & tips* Variations: Based on the basic cinnamon apple muffins recipe* Banana & pecan muffins: Replace apples and raisins with 3 mashed very ripe bananas (combine withthe wet ingredients before adding to flour mixture) and 100g chopped pecan nuts and reduce the milk to125mls (1/2 cup). Cook for 25 minutes.* Tangy lemon muffins: Replace the cinnamon with finely grated rind of 2 lemons. Replace the brownsugar with 220g (1 cup) caster sugar, leave out the apple and raisins. Replace the milk with 125mls (1/2cup) fresh lemon juice and 70g (1/4 cup) plain yoghurt. Cook for 25 minutes. Alternatively, cook them inmini muffin pans (40mls/2 tbs) for 15 minutes.* Rhubarb muffins: Increase the brown sugar to 200g (1 cup, firmly packed), replace the apples andraisins with 1/2 bunch (about 350g) rhubarb, washed well, trimmed and roughly chopped, and 100g (1cup) pecans, roughly chopped. Replace the milk with 200g plain yoghurt. Sprinkle the muffins with 50g(1/4 cup, firmly packed) extra brown sugar before cooking. Cook for 25-30 minutes.* Sweet corn & polenta muffins: Reduce the flour to 225g (1 1/2 cups), add 170g (1 cup) polenta(cornmeal) with the flour, leave out the cinnamon and reduce the brown sugar to 50g (1/4 cup, firmlypacked). Replace the apples and raisins with a 420g can of corn kernels, drained. Cook for 20 minutes.* Blueberry muffins: Replace the apples and raisins with 300g frozen or fresh blueberries and replacemilk with buttermilk.