I’m fairly sure I’m not alone in saying that the past few weeks food has been on my mind a lot. Buying it, trying to buy it, thinking about what I might need, what would last, what I could do with what I had… A lot of time spent thinking about food. I’m notorious for buying cook books and magazines, collecting recipes for all sorts of things and saving them for a rainy day. I’m going to consider this period of isolation one long rainy day.
Now more than ever we need to be mindful of wasting food and using one what we can. What we’ve seen in the shops has been crazy and we know most of what has been bought wasn’t needed and may even likely end up in the bin.
After a bit of trial and error I came up with this simple muffin recipe that can handle a fair amount of change and reworking, dependant on what you happen to have in your cupboard or fridge. The quantities of each core ingredient or also fairly small, so if you’ve got a tiny bit left of something, this should put it to good use.
Hopefully it’s useful now, if you haven’t got cupboard full to the brim, or later down the isolation line if you’re not wanting to leave the house for supplies more than absolutely necessary.
Leftover Muffins: Pear & Ginger
My version here was created because I simply had a handful of pears to use up, they can however easily be swapped out for apple. Blueberries and blackberries can come in, even banana (add a little cinnamon here too, perhaps) or you could start getting a little exotic and using up those bits you bought for one that Ottolenghi recipe then never used again; cardamom or ground star anise maybe. The later would be perfect with plums.
In my case the random elements were the stem ginger, sitting there from having baked a carrot cake a few months back, along with some flaked almonds and sultanas.
The base of the recipe uses a small amount of ingredients; it’s basically been designed to use up the last bits of leftovers of things you might have in already. Whilst the quantity of things is small the mixture should give you around 6-8 muffins, depending on the size.
If you don’t have muffins case, you can use a muffin tin – just grease it well with butter and perhaps prepare yourself for muffins with a ‘rustic’ appeal.
If you haven’t got Self-Raising flour you can sub in plain, with a tsp of baking powder mixed in.
Ingredients – The Base Recipe
75g Unsalted Butter (Stork margarine will also work)
2 Medium Eggs, beaten
Grated zest of 1 lemon
4 tbsp milk (This can be semi skimmed, full, almond, oat..)
175ml Natural yoghurt (Greek will also work)
175g Self-Raising Flour
175g Light Muscovado Sugar (Light brown, golden caster and regular caster sugar will all work fine)
Ingredients – The Add Ons
2/3 Peeled and cored pears, cut into cubes
2 tsp Ground Ginger
1 or 2 Pieces of Stem Ginger, cubed
Handful of sultanas
The second set of ingredients are largely what can be subbed out for other things in your kitchen. Try not to add in anything else too ‘wet’ however or you’ll start to alter the cooking times.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 Fan and if you’re using a muffin tin without cases, grease them well with butter and a piece of kitchen roll or greaseproof.
Cream the sugar and butter together in a bowl until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl or cup, beat the two eggs together.
Start to add this in gradually to the sugar mixture. It will likely look like it’s split but don’t worry.
Add in your chopped fruit and lemon zest if you’re using it, along with any other ‘add on’ ingredients. Combine together.
In another bowl mix your flour with any other dry ingredients such as alternative spices or poppy seeds, etc. In this recipe I added in the ground ginger here.
Add the milk to the yoghurt and mix, then taking it in turns, add some to the sugar mixture followed by some of the flour mixture. Combining each time. Then more of the yoghurt, more of the flour, etc, until all combined.
Divide between your muffin tin or cases and top with a sprinkling of sugar or in my case, the flaked almonds.
Cook for approximately 40 minutes, but check from about 35.