Happy 91st birthday to my wonderful, thoughtful, brave, kind, and ever-supportive Grandpa! Words cannot express how much I treasure our afternoons playing Crib together, your smile and love of literature, our mutual distaste for casseroles containing squidgy fruits, and the way you make me feel cherished, just the way I am.
I’ll never forget waking up to breakfasts of hot buttered toast, cut into quarters, during school holidays, nor the endless stash of Magnums in your Turramurra garage freezer. I also particularly appreciate the fact that you were a far more generous Tooth Fairy than my parents ever were.
I felt happy, yesterday morning, folding diced apple into sweet batter with the knowledge that the muffins were destined to be your birthday present. I hummed as I scattered the buttery streusel topping evenly over the muffin tin, thinking of how I was a mere hour away from presenting you with a platter of still-warm-high-topped apple and cinnamon muffins. I smiled as I slid the tin into the warm oven.
And then the stupid batter went PHLOOMP all over the place in an extremely ungainly fashion, and all my mental images of Perfect Pretty Golden Domed Creations For My Grandpa disappeared.
And then I, erm, couldn’t get the muffins out of the tin. At all. Let this be a lesson to you all: too much tin-greasing is never enough.
Happy 91st birthday Grandpa! I hope you enjoyed the bonus gift of a tin with your muffins!
(Oh, just so you know, my mother [your daughter] will probably be wanting her tin back eventually. I only hope you’re able to spoon the muffins out first…)
Recipe from The Purple Foodie
For the streusel:
- 112g / 4 oz butter, softened
- 112g / 4 oz plain flour
- 55g / 2 oz caster sugar
- 55g / 2 oz brown sugar
For the muffins:
- 225g / 8 oz plain flour
- 112g / 4 oz brown sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 112g / 4 oz butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped into small cubes
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, divided (1 tsp for the batter, and 1/2 tsp to toss with the apples)
- Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Line tins with paper cases (don’t do what I did and simply rely on heavily greasing the tin. Go with the paper cases).
- For the streusel: Mix all ingredients together with your fingers (for the extremely messy option) or a food processor (for the extra cleaning option). Leave to rest in fridge while you mix the muffin batter.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and 1 tsp cinnamon. In a larger bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla extract.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until just combined, then gently fold in the apple tossed with 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Remember, lumps are good in muffin batter but bad in mattresses. Unless, of course, someone is hiding inside the mattress during a game of hide-and-seek.
- Spoon the batter into muffin tins, and top with the streusel mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through. If you’re lucky, remove your muffins from the tin. Sigh. Makes 12 muffins (although I personally made nine because a running-out-of-flour problem led to a 25% reduction in ingredients).
Question Time: What lovely memories do you have of your grandfather/s?