Apples and cheddar are a pretty epic combination. One of the power couples of the culinary world, right up there with tomato and basil, chocolate and peanut butter, and cinnamon and pretty much everything.
These muffins are so amazing they make me want to expand my vocabulary because there are just not enough words in my brain to articulate how delicious they are. Camilla Saulsbury was NOT fucking around when she called her book 750 Best Muffins Recipes, her recipes really are THE BEST.
Pennsylvania Dutch Apple Cheese Muffins (16 of 750)
From 750 Best Muffin Recipes by Camilla Saulsbury
Makes 12 muffins (48 minis)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 8 oz sharp (old) Cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 2 cups chopped peeled crisp-sweet apples, such as Gala, Golden Delicious, or Fuji (I used Gala)
- Glaze: In a small saucepan, combine sugar, water, butter, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Set aside. (This made more than enough for my muffins – I think half the recipe should be enough.)
- Muffins: In food processor fitted with metal blade, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter, and cheese. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together egg and milk until well blended.
- Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Gently fold in apples.
- Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups.
- Bake in preheated oven for 14 to 17 minutes or until tops are just turning golden. Brush the partially baked muffins with glaze.
- Return muffins to oven and bake for 9 to 12 minutes or until muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool.
These muffins highlight the combination of apple and cheddar to perfection. They actually taste much, much better when they’re at room temp than when they’re warm out of the oven – letting them rest really gives the flavors a chance to meld.
The glaze is a must, and more importantly, the lemon in the glaze is a must. DO NOT leave out the lemon. It adds a subtle but noticeable brightness that pairs surprisingly well with the cinnamon. I had so much glaze, I ended up glazing the muffins twice – once in the middle of baking, and once after they were fresh out of the oven. I think double-glazing is really the way to go to ensure that those flavors really get incorporated.
On paper, it sounds like a lot of different competing flavors – apple, sharp cheddar, lemon, and cinnamon – but they all work together equally, with no one flavor really out-shining any of the others. These would be great not just for breakfast, for also as a substitute for a dinner roll to go with a soup or salad. In fact, I think I’ll be putting this one down for my Thanksgiving menu this year.