Gran’s sweet pantry, 192pp.
by Natalie Oldfield
Hardie Grant Books (Australia), Richmond, Victoria, 2013
Cooking on pages 32–33
Natalie Oldfield grew up in New Zealand around her grandmothers.
Gran (Dulcie May), in particular, was the inspiration for Oldfield’s now-closed foodstore, Dulcie May Kitchen, as well as being the inspiration for this book. The book covers the whole gamut of sweets with chapters on scones and muffins, biscuit (cookies), cakes and loaves, slices, dessert and preserves.
I checked this out from the local library because I liked the look of the page–32 recipe, which is one of several from Oldfield’s other grandmother, Nana Rita.
Oat bran and apple muffins
1 1/2 cups oat bran
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cloves
50 g butter
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup milk
1 cup grated apple, plus 12 apple slices
Preheat oven to 190°C. Grease a deep 12-hole muffin tray. Set aside.
Put oat bran, flour, baking powder and cloves together in a bowl large enough to mix all the ingredients in. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.
Melt butt and honey together. Lightly beat egg. Dissolve baking soda in milk. Add egg, milk mixture, butter mixture and grated apple to the dry ingredients. Quickly mix to a smooth batter, taking care not to overmix. Three-quarters fill pan holes with the mixture. Push an apple slice into each muffin.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10–15 minutes or until muffins spring back when lightly touched.
How it played out
I’ve had a bag of oat bran in the cupboard for ages, so this recipe seemed the perfect way to start using it up.
There was no reason to change anything, so I made as written EXCEPT for one big and important change. When I grated the apple it seemed so wet that I was compelled to squeeze out as much moisture as I could so the final mixture wasn’t too watery.
Thank goodness I did the big squeeze because, otherwise, I reckon the muffins would have been more like soup. Another change I wish I’d made has to do with the cloves, but more about that in the Verdict.
I made these (along with shortbread and brownies) as part of a morning tea for friends.
One of the guests, the gorgeous Fin, who turned one this week, demolished his muffin. He squished it and squeezed it and ate it all, except for the crumbs his little fingers couldn’t pick up. Definitely a winner in his book.
Everyone enjoyed the muffins (as well as all the other treats), but they (the muffins, not the guests) cried out for more spice.
In future, I would add at least 1/2 teaspoon each of ground cloves and ground cinnamon. Apples and cinnamon are made for each other and this recipe is no exception.
We’ve had some amazing food on our travels, but never a muffin, at least not one that I can remember. But I do remember some amazing cakes we saw in Germany.