I have been a little absent recently, just dealing with general life ephemera. Nothing bad or grievous just lots of things happening all at once. My evenings have been full and social which is never a bad thing but as a result I have been subsisting on a diet of takeaways and restaurant foods, or miso soup and dark chocolate squares for dinner this week and it just will not do. I have been away from the kitchen for far too long so it was good, this weekend, to return to something familiar. Taking a step back and being able to relish in some simple foods.
While I was preparing them for the oven, a thunderstorm rolled in, so I had to bolt outside and rescue my washing (hence some of the muffins in these photos do not have the crunchy topping). The sheets smelt of fresh linen and rosemary and were still warm from the sun. Mishka, my housemates ancient cat, was most unimpressed by the sudden domestic goings on. When I bake she is often at my feet, dutifully sitting there keeping me company while I ramble out my inner thoughts at her (which i know has forever condemned me to an inevitable fate as a crazy cat lady) but there is something to be said in the restorative benefits of an afternoon spent baking and folding washing and singing to your cat the music of Portishead.
These muffins are not too sweet and not too indulgent. They are a perfect afternoon or morning pick me up with a cheeky black coffee. I got the recipe from the What Katie Ate cookbook which I never tire of looking at. The photos are dark and rich and the food is all kinds of delicious.
Blueberry & Apple Muffins with a Crunchy Munchy Topping
- 1 1/4 Cup/156g Self-Raising Flour
- 1/2 cup/48g almond meal
- 1/2 cup/80g superfine sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- large pinch fine salt
- 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
- 1 stick unsalted butter/113grams melted and cooled
- 2 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into small cubes
- 1 Cup Blueberries
- handful sliced blanched almonds
- handful of quick oats
- 1-2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Line a 12-cup standard (1/2 cup) muffin tin with paper baking cups or small rounds of parchment paper.
2. Place the flour, almond meal, superfine sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, lemon zest and salt in a bowl and mix well. In a separate bowl, mix together the vanilla extract, melted butter, beaten egg and 3/4 cup warm water. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon, then add the apple and gently stir to combine. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, filling each cup to about three-quarters full.
3. Place the strawberry quarters on top of each muffing, then sprinkle with almonds and brown sugar. As I didn’t had fresh strawberries, I used home-made strawberry jam. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.