Mary gave us a big jar of Cracker Barrel apple butter in November 2013. After the long dark rainy windy trip home from Quantico, where we ate some pumpkin muffins that were not very good, I came across an EatingWell recipe for apple butter bran muffins and adapted it. These muffins are delicious and healthy too, containing whole-wheat flour, bran, egg, and an apple.
Apple butter was a favorite treat in the Shenandoah Valley back when apple orchards were everywhere. Look at the White House label on apple butter and you will see that White House apple products are still made in Winchester, Virginia, an hour north of Staunton. Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant continues to serve apple butter with their breakfast biscuits.
If you still want pumpkin muffins, try Butterscotch Pumpkin Maple Muffins. But these delicious and wholesome apple butter muffins are deeply satisfying.
1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour
¾ cup unprocessed wheat bran or oat bran
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon allspice
½ cup raisins (golden or regular)
1 apple, peeled and finely diced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup canola oil
3 tablespoons molasses
½ cup buttermilk (or regular milk, but leave out baking soda and increase baking powder to 2 ½ teaspoons)
½ cup apple butter
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Put paper cupcake cups in a 2 ½ inch 12-muffin tin, or coat muffin cups with cooking spray, or grease them with butter.
Whisk whole-wheat flour, bran, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice in a large bowl. Mix in diced apple and raisins. Whisk egg, brown sugar, oil, molasses, buttermilk, and apple butter. Combine wet and dry ingedients. Stir until just combined. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin (the cups will be very full.)
Bake the muffins until the tops spring back when touched lightly, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool in the pan 5 minutes. Loosen the edges and turn the muffins out onto a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.