Introduction: Energy Boosting Fruit & Nut Muffins
These muffins were first introduced to me by my wife's grandmother, who liked them because they didn't have extra sugar, but had a lot of energy and flavor from the fruit filling. By adding nuts and bran to them she had a healthy muffin that gives a quick energy boost when it's needed most.
I've attached a PDF of the Recipe - note that it's for 1 dozen, but in the photos I've tripled it to make 3 dozen.
You can use regular baking tools - just a knife, cutting board, single bowl, mixing spoon, measuring cups and spoons, and a muffin tin, plus a pot for use on the stovetop. I like to make these in my stand mixer which cuts down significantly on the mixing time and effort.
Step 1: Slice Fruit!
The recipe calls for dates, prunes, and raisins.
Slice the dates approximately in thirds. This also helps find any pits - pitted fruit is usually machine processed and may still contain pits.
Slice the prunes in half.
Slice the raisins... no, don't slice the raisins. Just pour those all into the stovetop pot and add the water.
I live in a fairly dry climate. You may need less water for your fruit mixture if you live somewhere that's really humid.
Once all 3 fruits + water are in the pot, turn the heat to maximum and go to the next step.
Step 2: Mix Wet & Dry Ingredients!
I start by adding the oil & applesauce into my stand mixer. One advantage or tripling the recipe is that applesauce comes in jars that are almost exactly the right amount.
In the meantime, check on your fruit... Give it a stir...
One mistake I've made before is accidentally adding baking powder instead of soda. The muffins will be more like wet fruit pucks if you make this mistake.
I add all the wet ingredients in, then add in the dry - flour, cinnamon, and All Bran.
If youc an't find All Bran, you can crush some Bran Flake Cereal and add it instead. You could also use regular bran, but I haven't tried this before.
Again check on your fruit... Give it a stir...The water should be quite brown and the fruit should be getting mushy, but still recognizable.
Step 3: Add Nuts & Fruit Mixture!
By now the fruit mixture should be fairly mushy with more of a porridge consistencey.
Add the Pecans to the bowl of wet and dry ingredients. Sample a few pecans...
Give the fruit another stir. The preceeding steps usually take me about 15 -20 minutes (with a 3 dozen batch) and this seems to be a good amount of time for the fruit to break down. Take it off the heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes.
I usually use this cool-down time to put paper muffin cups in the tins.
Mix the fruit into the wet & dry ingredients. If you are using a stand mixer, and you've made a 3x batch, this is where you find out if your stand mixer is big enough to handle 3 dozen muffins.
Step 4: Pour Into Tins!
Thse muffins have a fairly sticky batter, and it's also full of bits of the fruit which don't make it easy to separate into cups.
I fill the cups about 7/8 full using a serving spoon.
Bake according to the directions in the recipe, but again if you live in a more humid climate or at a lower elevation than me, this will affect the baking time, so check regularly near the end.
Step 5: Yum!
Let them cool and remove the muffins from the tins.
I usually separate them into packages of 6 and freeze most of them. Also - if I had a dozen (or three) of these in the kitchen instead of in the freezer - they would disappear a lot faster!