Here’s another riff on my latest muffin recipe, Matt Stone’s beautiful Greenhouse Muffins from his book “The Natural Cook Maximum Taste Zero Waste”, see here to buy the book.
Matt’s recipe uses carrots and apple. I substituted zucchini (courgettes) for the carrot, and added nectarine slices inside the mix and also as decoration on the top.
280g raw sugar
200g zucchini unpeeled and grated
1 apple unpeeled and grated
1 nectarine chopped into small pieces
150ml vegetable oil
100g nuts, roughly chopped – pecans, walnuts, almonds would be good. I used pecans.
300g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
50g cold butter
70g plain flour
50g rolled oats
50g sunflower seeds
3 tsp honey
1 nectarine cut into thin slices
Whisk the eggs together in a large mixing bowl until they are frothy. Slowly pour in the sugar. Keep whisking until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has doubled in size. Whisk in the zucchini , apple, oil and nuts. Using a spatula, gently fold in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Lastly gently fold in the nectarine pieces.
The mixture can be baked straight away but Matt suggests leaving it in the fridge overnight. This will give the flour a chance to hydrate and the baking powder to activate, resulting in a more consistent muffin texture. The mix will keep for 3–4 days in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. For the topping, place the cold butter and flour in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips. Add the oats and seeds and mix well, then mix in the honey to create a crumble-type mixture.
Grease a 12-hole standard muffin tin and line the holes with squares of baking paper. Spoon in the muffin mixture and press it down to the level of the tin.
Cover the top of the muffins with the crumble topping and place 2 or 3 nectarine slices on top of the crumble. Place the tray in the oven and cook for about 25 minutes. After 15 minutes check the muffins using a skewers and test for “doneness”. My experience has been that they will need another 5-10 minutes, so keep checking until you are sure they are cooked.
When done, take the muffins out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5–10 minutes. Then finish cooling on a wire rack. They keep fine in their paper wraps, making them easy to store and transport.