Hello! it’s been seriously icy in Sydney these past few days and coupled with nursing a cold, I am hibernating indoors and have cancelled all social engagements for today. Self imposed hibernation is sometimes very enjoyable amidst a busy life – indulging in normal household activities means more engagement with bub and not just trying to rush from one thing to the next, ticking off a never ending checklist of things to do. So in the blissful mundaneness of the day, I got to show Miss One how to take the laundry out of the washing machine and help me with the hanging on the clothes line. Her very important job was to hand me the pegs – this consisted of walking back and forth from the bucket, transporting one peg at a time. She is my hardworking little helper!
As I watch her toddle back inside with the bucket of pegs swinging on her arm, I am just filled with love, pride and amazement at just how quickly this little girl is learning and growing up. I just wish I could freeze moments like that and store them for the rainy days in life.
So what do we need to top up a day of domestic bliss? Some baked goods of course!
There’s a ripe pear in the fruit bowl, an open carton of buttermilk in the fridge that needs using and the pack of sultanas that Miss One has smuggled out of the pantry (yes she knows how to open it now and has recognised which packet holds the coveted treats). So I decided to make the little Miss a sweet but healthy muffin with these ingredients for our afternoon tea.
Muffins are such magical things – it feels like you can just pick a favourite combination of ingredients, add flour, some kind of fat (oil or butter), egg, some sweetness and voila! 9.5 times out of 10, it’s a tasty treat! And they are also quick to put together – so easy that I was able to whip up a batch during bub’s nap today which is like being in a Masterchef challenge, only you have no idea when George is going to say “time’s up, step away from your benches”!
These days with priority directed towards nourishing a growing child, my muffins have taken on a more healthy tone so oats and coconut oil make regular appearances and here they are again in today’s creations. The pear was prepared two ways for a reason, not just to make life complicated – 1) the grated pear to give the muffin its moistness and 2) the chunks for bursts of pear flavour (of course Miss One picked out all the chunks to eat first). And one more tip before I give you the recipe – soaking the sultanas in hot water makes them nice and plump.
These muffins took a little longer than I expected and I suspect it was because of the slightly wetter mixture with the grated pear but the result was a nice moist cake. It’s probably not as sweet as most muffins but I think it is sweet enough, especially with the bursts of sultanas and pear chunks. Also I don’t want little Miss getting used to anything too sweet but if you do have a particularly sweet tooth, I would increase it to 1/2 a cup of sugar.
Now, if you have 35 odd minutes – go and bake yourself some tasty moist treats!
PS: don’t forget, you can “remember” all these recipes by using our Zest Recipe Manager that you can download for free: http://plentyofzest.com/zestapp/.
- 1½ cups self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup sultanas
- 1 large ripe pear (or 2 small ripe pears)
- ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
- ⅔ cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 170°C (fan forced).
- Soak the sultanas in a cup of boiled hot water.
- Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Mix in the cinnamon, sugar and oats then grate half of the pear into the mixture.
- Make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in a whisked egg, the buttermilk and oil. Stir until well combined.
- Dice the remaining pear into chunks and add to the batter. Drain the sultanas and add them too, then gently mix to them spread evenly through.
- Divide the batter into the muffin pans - I made 10 muffins. Bake for 18-22 minutes until a little browned on top and skewer comes out clean.