Apple Pumpkin Crumb Muffins

Seems like yesterday I was driving home from the beach (OK, it was yesterday). But then I passed one of my local farm fields filled with pumpkins. So ready-or-not the season has changed. At home I can still enjoy the best of both seasons on the farm and all the goodness from the farm. 

George Hirsch Seps Farm Basket

We will soon say goodbye to summer's tomatoes and corn. But, Autumn is one of my favorite food seasons. So let's get fall started; here's my seasonal spin on the average apple muffin - add pumpkin and crumb. Great to take on-the-go too. Enjoy!

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Apple Pumpkin Crumb Muffins

Makes 18 muffins or 9 x 13 coffee cake 

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle 

For the crumb topping:

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup flour 

3/4 cup oats, not quick cooking

1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1/2 cup melted butter 

Mix all sugars, flour, oats and nuts. Pour in butter and mix until topping looks like wet sand. Do not over mix; topping should have a lumpy consistency. Reserve crumb topping and prepare muffin batter.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 

Lightly grease 18 muffin cups or use paper liners.

For the muffins:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour; or 50/50 whole wheat flour

2 cups pure cane granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon 

3/4 teaspoon ginger 

Pinch allspice & fresh grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup can pumpkin puree

1/2 cup applesauce, or vegetable oil 

2 cups Green or baking apples, peeled, core and chopped into small pieces 

In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, pumpkin and oil. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stirring just to until flour is absorbed. Add chopped apples. 

Add batter into prepared muffin cups 3/4 filled. Top each muffin with crumb mixture and bake.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

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Old Fashioned Coffee Break

When actually was the first coffee break? Possibly in 12th or 13th century in Africa. But, the officially dedicated daily event in the US, the 1900s.

In 1952, a Pan-American Coffee Bureau ad campaign urged consumers, "Give yourself a Coffee-Break - and Get What Coffee Gives to You." (source, NPR)

The coffee break was and still is such an important part of everyday lifestyle and now our culture. For more than three and one half million people in the US, the very ritual of having a cup of coffee gives good reason to get together, talk and even gather your thoughts, even if for just 10 to 15 minutes. I look forward to a later afternoon coffee break everyday.

Whether you take your break mid-morning or mid-afternoon, pair that freshly brewed coffee with my old fashioned style sour cream coffee cake. 

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Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Makes a 9" Bundt Pan, about 10-12 slices

 chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

For the Crumb Topping:

1/2 cup light brown sugar

6 Tablespoons sweet butter, softened

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Place the butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and vanilla in a bowl and crumble together with your fingers until it forms a crumb mixture. Add in the nuts. Reserve and mix cake batter.

For the Cake:

1/2 cup sweet butter, one stick softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2 cups All-Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup low fat plain yogurt

1/4 cup 2% milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon fresh grated orange rind

Grease and flour a tube, Bundt-style, or a regular-sized 9 1/2-inch baking pan.

Cream together the butter, sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Mix in eggs, vanilla and orange zest, one at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl again.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, yogurt and milk together. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately in three stages with the sour cream, yogurt, and milk mixture; stirring and scraping the bowl with spatula after each addition. Mix until just blended. Do not over mix.

Place half the batter in the pan, and sprinkle with half the topping mixture. With the back of butter knife swirl the batter slightly to mix the crumb mixture slightly into the bottom of cake batter. Add remaining batter, then the crumb topping.

Bake coffee cake in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake tests done. Cool for 15-20 minutes, and then remove from pan by placing a large plate over top of cake and invert pan. Tap the sides of cake pan to free cake from pan. Plate serving platter over the bottom and invert again. The crumb topping should be on the side up to serve. Allow to cool at least 2 hours (if you can) before slicing!

Cover cake once fully cooled.

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Quiche or Tart

Some people think the bigger the better. OK, if you like that kind of stuff. But I've always made my quiche tart-like in delicate proportions. Meaning, packed with flavor, but reaching only an inch high - which is the height of my tart pan. Makes sense, right?

But, more important than the height is the bottom crust. No soggy bottom on my quiche/ tart. Pre-bake lightly, cool, and then your ready to add the filling and resume baking. You are guaranteed, a fully baked non-soggy crust.  


Broccoli Ham Quiche

Recipe by Chef George Hirsch | Makes six servings 

1 nine inch pre-baked pie crust
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped
1 cup broccoli florets, cooked & chopped
1 cup Smoked Ham, chopped
4 eggs, well beaten
1 pint half & half
2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
Pinch fresh grated nutmeg
Fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

Beat eggs with half & half, parmesan cheese, hot sauce, nutmeg, and pepper. 

Add olive oil to sauté pan, heat ham, cook onions and broccoli until slightly tender. Cool and put in pre baked pie shell. Pour egg mixture over the filling and place in oven. 

After 20 minutes, the eggs begin to set, lower the heat to 350 degrees for 4-5 minutes, until firm yet moist.