An accidental find on a very rainy day.
This time of year in the village we are blessed with pears and apples by the basket-load; given to us by wonderful neighbours with burgeoning orchards and kitchen gardens. Because we are yet to induct ourselves into real country living and buy a chest freeze, I'm always looking for new ways to use up these gifted fruits.
This morning, sheet rain and a significant drop in temperature made me run to put the central heating on for the first time and crave muffins. Muffins are an autumnal bake for me. There's something wholesome and earthy about them. They're comforting and they're perfect for late morning or mid afternoon snacks with a good cup of tea curled under a blanket trying to block out the Frozen soundtrack for the 7000th time. Not too sweet, but just enough to feel like you're treating yourself. On closer inspection of the kitchen cupboards today however, I discovered that we were out of muffin cases. Disgraceful! So I found myself asking, 'what happens if I just make a big mix with lots of yoghurt to fluff it up and stick it in a cake tin?' I was pretty sure it was going to be a flop, but lo and behold I have invented a masterpiece. I give you, the magnificent, massive muffin. All the cosy wholesome bite of a muffin with the satisfying size of an indulgent slice of cake. Happiness.
270g self raising flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
135g wholemeal flour
3 tsp ground cinnamon
200g soft brown sugar
1 cups full fat, natural yoghurt
3 tbsp milk
240ml apple juice
2 pears - peeled and chopped into small pieces
1 Bramley (cooking) apple - peeled and chopped into small pieces
You can pre-weigh all of the dry ingredients together to make this bake even speedier. You could even throw the fruit in their in advance, but my two are now at the stage where they love to tip everything in and 'mix mix' each time.
Mix together flours, bicarbonate of soda, sugar, cinnamon and oats.
Tip in the fruit and gently (as gently as possible when its a toddler wielding the wooden spoon) mix it in.
Mix in eggs, yoghurt and milk followed by the juice.
Tip the mixture into a greased and lined 6inch cake tin and bake at 180° for an hour or until a knife or skewer come out clean.
Best to wait until it's cool, but we couldn't wait and the three of us ate an enormous slice each whilst it was just warm. It would be great with a good dollop of yoghurt and some compost for breakfast. Not a bad discovery for a dingy Sunday. I hope you love it. May you be warm and cosy. x