Apricot Crumble Muffins
I am openly and quite unashamedly mad about muffins. They are a doddle to make once you grasp it, and for me they upstage cup cakes by a mile – low in fat, fruity, soft, squidgy, light and airy. My only problem is deciding which ones I like best. You can make these with ready-to-eat dried apricots, but in the summer they are even better made with fresh.
Makes 6 large muffins
|150g plain flour|
|½ level teaspoon ground cinnamon|
|1 level dessertspoon baking powder|
|¼ teaspoon salt|
|1 large egg|
|40g dark brown soft sugar|
|50g block butter, melted and slightly cooled|
|1 teaspoon vanilla extract|
|150g ready-to-eat dried apricots, finely chopped|
|50g pecan nuts, roughly chopped|
|For the topping:|
|75g soft dark brown sugar|
|40g plain flour|
|½ teaspoon baking powder|
|½ teaspoon ground cinnamon|
|40g butter, melted|
|25g pecan nuts, chopped|
|Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6|
|Need help with conversions?|
|Equipment: You will need a Delia Online/Silverwood muffin tray lined with 6 paper muffin cases generously brushed with melted butter|
This recipe is from Delia's Cakes
With muffins it’s always a good idea to have everything weighed out and ready before you start.
To make the crumble topping, mix the sugar, flour, baking powder and cinnamon together in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter with a fork, followed by the chopped nuts.
Next sift the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt into a bowl, lifting the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing.
Now, in another bowl whisk together the egg, sugar, milk, melted butter and vanilla. Then return the dry ingredients to the sieve and sift them straight into the egg mixture. (This double sifting is crucial because we won’t be doing much mixing.)
What you now need to do is take a large metal spoon and fold the dry ingredients quickly into the wet ones – the key word here is quickly (i.e. in about 15 seconds).
What you mustn’t do is beat or stir the mixture – just do the folding, and ignore the uneven appearance of the mixture because that’s precisely what makes the muffins really light. Over-mixing is where people go wrong.
Next, quickly fold in the finely chopped apricots and pecan nuts – again no stirring. Now divide the mixture between the muffin cases.
Then sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over each muffin, and bake near the centre of the oven for 25–30 minutes until well-risen and golden brown.
Remove the muffins from the oven and transfer to a wire cooling tray.
Store in an airtight tin.
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Any of our muffin recipes can be adapted to any fruit, and blueberries have always been popular, so in this recipe I decided, instead of making muffins, I’d use the mixture to make a cake, which has turned out to be a real winner!
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What’s good about changing seasons is looking forward to gooseberries, which only come once a year. They can of course be frozen but they’re never quite as good, so once a year make these glorious and very special muffins.
A friend asked ‘Can you make iced poppy seed muffins as good as a famous coffee-shop chain?’ Answer, decidedly yes, but with add-ons. Much lighter, moister, much much more lemony without all the additives. And guess what? One fifth of the price!
There were a few sceptics when, in my muffin madness, I suggested we try rhubarb. But if you chop it small it does what other fruits do, and releases its juicy fragrance, which permeates all through.
I just couldn’t stop eating these when we tested them, so for me this is another reason to look forward to the Christmas season. They are great at any time, but would be especially good for a celebratory breakfast on Christmas morning.
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