Portion/Yield:Makes 12 muffins
This delicious fruity bran muffin recipe is quick and easy to make. It’s one of my mother’s recipes and she makes these muffins in a jiffy. The flavourings mum adds to the basic recipe vary, depending on the season and what she has in her larder. Mum usually makes these muffins for breakfast, but they are equally good for a mid-morning or afternoon snack when you need a pick-me-up. Mum’s top tip is that these muffins freeze very well, so she makes and bakes a batch, then pops half of them in the freezer for another time (see Cook’s Note).
My mother came to stay with us a few years ago and we had a great time together, chatting, walking, foraging and making and baking various things, including these muffins. We visited the fabulous Borough Market in London and together we found some wonderful ingredients, including these wild plums, among the many seasonal treats on offer. They were a perfect choice for this recipe, and I also added some grated pears and chopped nuts.
You can replace the pears with either grated apples or carrots, if you prefer, and the wild plums can be substituted with fresh Victoria plums, apricots or cherries. You can also try using other nuts such as walnuts, pecans, almonds or macadamia nuts in place of the hazelnuts.
Ingredients & Method
- a little unsalted butter, for greasing
- 250g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- a pinch of table salt
- 200g bran flakes
- 125g soft light brown sugar
- 50g chopped hazelnuts
- 200g (prepared weight) firm pears (about 2 pears), cored and coarsely grated
- 150g (stoned weight) wild plums, stones removed and each cut into quarters
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 180ml buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin with butter or line it with paper muffin cases, if you prefer.
Place the flour, baking powder, salt, bran flakes, sugar, hazelnuts, pears, plums and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl and stir to mix. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs and oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use a large spatula to lightly fold them together. Mum’s tip is not to over-mix the muffin mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin holes, dividing it evenly – I fill them all the way to the top as the mixture doesn’t rise too much. Bake the muffins in the oven for 25–30 minutes or until risen and deep golden brown.
Remove from the oven and leave the muffins to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then carefully turn them out onto a wire rack and leave to cool. Serve warm or cold (see Cook’s Note).
These muffins are best eaten on the day they are made. Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature and eat within 1–2 days. Alternatively, freeze any leftover muffins for up to a month, then defrost overnight at room temperature before serving.