These tender, eggless muffins full of apples and crunchy walnuts have a crisp exterior and a wonderful apple flavor. You really have to make them to know how good they are.
- 4 apples (1 1/2-1 3/4 pounds), peeled, cored and halved*
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups California walnuts, chopped, toasted
- 2 cups canola oil
*Use Granny Smiths if you like firm, tart apples, or Golden Delicious if you like sweeter apples. Both are very good in this recipe.
- Preheat the oven to 350º F. Grease standard muffin pans (cups about 4 ounces or 1/2 cup capacity) with butter or vegetable shortening, or coat them generously with nonstick cooking spray.
- Chop the apples coarsely, or dice them, so they are in about 1/4- 1/3-inch pieces. You should have about 4 cups, and slightly more or less is okay.
- In a very large bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. With a wire whisk, stir the dry ingredients together for a minute or two, until evenly mixed.
- Add the apples and the nuts, then stir and toss to distribute them evenly and coat them with flour. Add the oil, then mix vigorously using a large wooden spoon--or plunge right in with your clean hands to mix--until the ingredients are completely blended.
- The batter will be very stiff and chunky, almost like a dough, and different from most batters you have probably worked with.
- Scoop up 1/3-cup blobs of the batter and, in your hands, pat them quickly into irregular balls, and place in the prepared muffin pans.
- Bake 35-40 minutes, until the muffins are golden brown, the tops look dry, and they spring back when pressed gently. Cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely. The cooled muffins may be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for up to two days. Freeze for longer storage.