Speaking of apples, which this blog did yesterday and has since before fall "officially" began on Wednesday, a truly incredible recipe from Family Circle magazine a few years back hit the jackpot with this flavor combination.
It uses fresh, chopped apples with a storebought corn muffin mix and adds pumpkin pie spice and chopped nuts. The resulting muffins can go a variety of directions--playing to their "corn-muffin" side, to be used with soups and stews and down-home cooking, or playing to their apple-y, spicy side, to be used as a breakfast accompaniment.
In our family we interpreted them as corn muffins and served them alongside the Easy Vegetable Soup I mentioned a few days back. Truly wonderful! The inclusion of the apple bits made the soup, with its veggies and ground turkey chunks, seem as though it was a complete meal.
Baking Apple-Corn Muffins also makes you feel virtuous because it helps you create a "from-stratch" menu item with the convenience and speed of a mix.
2 boxes (8.5 ounces each) corn muffin mix
2 eggs (I use egg substitute)
1/2 cup milk (I use skim)
2 small sweet apples (such as McIntosh, Empire, or Jonagold), peeled, cored, chopped very fine
3 tablespoons sugar (I use sugar substitute)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 12 cups of muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl combine muffin mixes, eggs, milk, finely chopped apple, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and the pumpkin pie spice. Stir until ingredients are moistened. Then divide evenly between prepared muffin cups (usually a heaping 1/3-cup batter in each cup). Sprinkle tops of muffins with remaining tablespoon sugar and the chopped nuts. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes until lightly browned around edges. Slide a thin knife between muffin and pan; gently lift muffins from pan. Cool and serve.