Growing up, salt and pepper were the spices of the day. If we wanted to kick things up a notch, we added some garlic powder. I still remember being quite surprised that the neighbor kid sprinkled crushed red pepper on his pizza! He was a rebel!
Spices like Cardamom and Ginger were quite the rarity – although I did use 1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder in my Libby’s pumpkin pie each year.
Starting this adventure, and moving from the U.S. opened my eyes (or should I say, my palate) to the new and unknown!
While in New Zealand, I had volunteered to set up the school gym for the ‘Leaver’s Ball’. This is like Prom for the U.S. kids. We had accomplished quite a bit, and it was time to break for tea. My friend handed me this muffin and asked if I could tell what was in it. I had no idea…but it was AMAZING! It was an apple muffin, with cardamom and ginger! Who ever would have guessed?? The woman who baked the muffins was not keen on sharing her recipe, so I had to come up with my own. I kept experimenting, and am now quite satisfied with my apple muffins with cardamom and ginger. The secret is to use the actual spice…and not the powdered stuff.
While the sugar and apples are hanging out together, you can pound your ginger and cardamom pods. (removing the outer pod…using only the black seeds)
Be sure to sift your flour, this really does make a difference. Stir everything together.
You will end up with the most amazing flavor packed muffins that you can imagine.
4C green apples, cored, seeded, and chopped
2C granulated sugar
2/3 C vegetable oil
4 egg whites
3C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
seeds from 15-20 cardamom pods
8-10 bits of dried ginger, pulverized. (or a nob of fresh ginger)
1 – Combine chopped apples with the sugar. Macerate for one hour.
2 – Then, add the oil and stir.
3 – Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
4 – Slightly beat egg whites just until a light foam appears. Combine them with the oil and apple mixture.
5 – Sift the flour, salt, baking soda. stir into apple mixture. stir in spices.
6 – Place mixture into paper baking cups, in a muffin tin, to about 3/4ths full.
7 – Bake for 15 minutes.