Whole wheat cornbread muffins meet caramelized Ambrosia apples to make for a perfectly portable and satisfying breakfast/snack.
Disclaimer: I was asked to participate in the #iloveambrosia campaign as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. While I was compensated for my time and gifted a dozen Ambrosia apples, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
While I'm a lover of all fruits, apples (and bananas) are the most frequently eaten here in my house. I'm pretty sure I eat one everyday, at the very least every other day. Unlike the Hungryman, who's very.very particular about the variety (meaning he only eats Fujis), I appreciate them all for their unique flavors and textures. That's why when I was given the opportunity to taste these gorgeous, smooth-skinned Ambrosia apples with their reddish blush and yellow hues, I said sign me up! I'm extremely thankful to be a part of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network for many reasons, including an introduction to this relative newcomer to the American-grown apple scene.
Although they're new to me, Ambrosia apples are quickly adding numbers to their already substantial cult following, and production in Washington State is expected to double or triple over the next decade. Upon first bite, I couldn't believe how delightfully crisp and juicy it was! The Hungryman could probably hear the sound of me biting into the apple from the other room. Speaking of the apple snob, his beloved Fuji has def met its match. My local store doesn't carry Ambrosia apples so I've put in an order request to the produce manager. Yes, you can do that and you def should!
While I'm perfectly content enjoying it as is, the Ambrosia apple also cooks up beautifully! It is slow to brown and holds its shape better than other varieties I've cooked with in the past. Being naturally sweet, I didn't need to add much extra sugar either. Where have you been all my life, Ambrosia?
I decided to go sweet and savory with this recipe. After I caramelized the apples with maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg, I added them to the cornbread mixture containing Canadian bacon, scallions, and cheese. You'll notice that I didn't dice the apples too small. Encountering chunks of them when biting into the muffin makes for a lovely surprise ;).
Seriously, these hearty breakfast muffins couldn't be simpler to make. As long as you give the apples some TLC so that they caramelize to perfection, the rest of the steps should come together effortlessly. And just like that, you've got yourself a filling and healthy portable breakfast or snack.
This breakfast muffin is like the perfect marriage of a Denver omelette and a delicious cinnamon apple pastry. And as odd as that may sound, the spiced apples complement the Canadian bacon to create something wonderfully satisfying. With each bite you find something new to appreciate...scallions for a bright punch, the underlying salt of the cheese... But truly the unsung centerpiece of the dish, the Ambrosia apple, finds a way to pair well with each ingredient and elevate it.
As you can see, I cut the apples into large chunks and so must you ;). If you want some additional sweetness, I found that maple syrup makes for quite the tasty muffin condiment ;). These will keep in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or you can freeze them as well. So whether you need something to get you going in the morning or a pick-me-up in the middle of the day, this muffin has got you covered. Enjoy!
- 2 Ambrosia apples diced into ½ in. cubes
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 6 ounces Canadian bacon diced and cooked
- ¼ cup chopped scallions
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ cup grated cheddar + more for topping (I used Cabot
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease muffin tin and set aside.
- Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add apples, sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Add maple syrup and continue cooking for 5 minutes or until apples are slightly tender.
- In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In another bowl, beat together eggs, buttermilk, and oil. Whisk together the dry and liquid mixtures, making sure there is no flour left at the bottom of the bowl. Do not over mix. Fold in the Canadian bacon, green onions, apples, and cheese.
- Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, stopping just below the rim. Top with extra cheese and place in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until slightly browned.