After spending a few days in Connecticut a few weeks back, where the weather was cool and comfortable, I was greatly looking forward to the first day of Autumn. However, in Philadelphia, September 21st AND 22nd both had hot and humid days, not at all like the refreshing crisp and breezy weather I was anticipating. Regardless, I had a bunch of apples in the house from some apple picking back home, and decided to put them to use to welcome the change in season, not the change in temperature.

I found a recipe from Annie’s Eats called “Cranberry-Apple Harvest Muffins” that was adapted from a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa entitled “Cranberry Harvest Muffins.” I checked out the recipes and had to make substitutions either way, so I just made the necessary changes and called my adaptation “Harvest Muffins.” Click on the links to get the original recipes or follow my version below.

Harvest Muffins
Adapted from Annie’s Eats and The Barefoot Contessa

3/4 whole wheat flour
3/4 all purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1 large egg
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup dried cranberries, reconstituted if desired
3/4 cup peeled and chopped apple, I used MacIntosh
1/2 cup diced fresh figs
1/2 cup raisins6 tbsp. packed brown sugar
6 tbsp. granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and giner; whisk together.  Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add in the milk, egg and melted butter.  Stir quickly just to combine.  Add the cranberries, apples, figs, raisins, and both sugars to the bowl.  Stir just enough to distribute the fruits and sugars evenly throughout the batter.

Divide the batter evenly between muffin tin. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until browned on the top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

These came out great, even though they were packed with all different flavors. The figs were not totally necessary, and dried ones would have worked fine if desired. I added the raisins because I forgot that I had some fresh figs and ended up tossing the figs in at the last minute. I also substitute half of the flour for whole wheat flour. Not a huge difference, but always makes me feel the slightest bit more health conscious. When it gets closer to Thanksgiving and fresh cranberries are more abundant, I will totally use Ina Garten’s recipe for the Cranberry Harvest muffins- maybe without the figs though, we’ll see.

Feel free to check out both recipes and decide on what works best for you. These are great for breakfast, a side for lunch, an afternoon snack with tea, or dessert! They have just the right amount of sugar so that they are sweet enough but not overly. Mmm, I can’t wait to make more Fall harvest muffins!

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