Deb from the Smitten Kitchen was the first ever blogger I really discovered. I don’t remember how I stumbled across her, but i do remember that from the first post I read that I was hooked! The thing is, saying you love smitten kitchen is like saying your favourite type of biscuit is chocolate chip or your favourite gossip girl character is Blair – not exactly original! But there is a reason for all those things being very common – they are simply great!! I’ve lost track of how many smitten kitchen recipes I’ve made over the years: whenever I’m after a recipe for something, it’s my go-to, and then if I don’t find what i’m looking for, make my way down the ranks of my other much loved blogs (a rare happening, her site is like a cooking encyclopaedia!!).
anyway, this gushy, fangirl rant is just a prelude to yet another amazing smitten kitchen recipe. The recipe is from the Blue Sky Bakery in New York and Deb mentioned that the muffins are very wholesome, barely sweet yet still very delicious, so I decided that a monday, home alone in my pjs (holidays I love you) was the perfect occasion to audition these treats.
We have flourishing rhubarb in the garden and I love the rhubarb and apple combination, so I after rounding up a few apples at the back of the fridge I knew had to make these. I subbed yoghurt + milk for the buttermilk because we didn’t have any buttermilk and hello, pyjamas, coconut oil for the vegetable oil because my family have turned into raging hippies (goji berries, amaranth and oat milk in the cupboard, um since when??), and added some cardamom and ginger cause I knew they’d go nicely with the fruit combo. Deb actually only calls for 3/4 – 1 cup of fruit but we love ultra fruity baked goods so I upped it and found them perfect, but you’re welcome to drop the fruit-batter ratio or just use one of the fruits if you’d like. Other fruit would also substitute nicely – I’d recommend having a read through the comments section to see what worked for other people.
They were well received by the family, and helped fuel my brother through his scholarship history exam – needless to say, if he gets scholarship, it’ll be the muffins (and ergo me) that get the credit ;)
wrong season for rhubarb and apple? for winter fruity baking, i have a delicious flourless mandarin cake over here; brilliant summery cherry clafoutis; or super indulgent portuguese custard tarts for any time of the year!
blue sky bran muffins
1 cup greek yoghurt
1/3 cup milk
1 large egg
1/3 cup melted coconut oil (canola or vegetable would be fine too)
1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ginger
1 1/2 cups wheat bran
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup apple chunks (3 small or 2 large apples)
1 cup rhubarb, chopped in 1 inch/ 2cm slices (this was about 6 stalks)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 F) and prepare muffin tin (I used squares of baking paper, but you can also grease with a nonstick spray or just melted butter with a pastry brush). I whisked the melted coconut oil with the brown sugar and egg first and then added the other wet ingredients as I was wary of it solidifying with the cold yoghurt, but if you’re using regular oil you can add them all then mix away. Whisk bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices in a large bowl. Stir wet mixture into dry until just combined – any more and you’ll have tough muffins. Fold the fruit in. Using a large spoon, divide evenly into the muffin tin, then sprinkle the tops with the teaspoon of sugar. Bake muffins for about 18 mins, checking after fifteen. they are done when the tops spring back when tapped (the skewer test may not work as well due to the large amount of fruit in them.) Do not over bake, as they will continue to cook for a little while once out of the oven. let them cool in tin for 5-10 mins then transfer to a container. They will keep for 3 days and would also be last for ages in the freezer wrapped in plastic wrap.