Emily`s courgette, lemon and raspberry muffins

I devised these muffins for my niece Emily to cook - so the instructions are for someone who is new to cooking. They’re best eaten on the day of cooking, but they still taste good the next day. Apologies for the dodgy photo!

Makes 12 muffins

115g unsalted butter

150g golden (unrefined) caster sugar

150ml organic full fat milk

2 medium eggs, roughly beaten

250g self-raising flour

½  bicarbonate of soda

a pinch of salt

2 unwaxed lemons

200g roughly grated courgette 

100g fresh raspberries

1  Preheat the fan oven 170ºC/190ºC/gas 5.  Place 12 paper muffin cases in a muffin tray. 

2  Place the butter in a small saucepan with the sugar and set over a low heat.  Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the butter has melted and the sugar is beginning to dissolve. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before stirring in the milk.  Beat the eggs with a fork in a small bowl and then mix into the butter and milk. Set aside.

3 Sift the self-raising flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl.  If adding salt, mix in now. Set aside.

 Finely grate the lemons – take care that you only grate the yellow skin rather than the bitter white pith.  Place in a bowl or on a plate.  Squeeze the juice from one lemon.  Set aside.

5 Top and tail a large courgette, then roughly grate and weigh out 200g.  Now take a handful of grated courgette at a time and squeeze the mixture between your hands over the sink.  This is to remove the excess liquid.  You’ll be surprised how much water comes out. Add to the lemon zest and repeat until you’ve squeezed all 200g of grated courgette and added to the lemon zest.

You are now ready to cook: Using a wooden spoon, mix the grated courgettes, lemon zest and lemon juice into the milk and eggs and tip on to the flour.  Add the raspberries to the bowl.  You now need to be quite quick.

7 Take a large flat metal spoon and lightly fold the courgette and milk mixture into the flour, using as few strokes as possible (c.10).  DO NOT OVER-MIX (it makes the muffins heavy).   It’s quite a sloppy mixture - quickly but carefully spoon the mixture into the muffin cases, dividing it evenly between the muffin cases.  Place the tray in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the muffins are flecked golden and cooked.

8 If you touch the top of a cooked muffin, it will spring back, but to check that the muffins are cooked all the way through, insert a metal or wooden skewer; if it comes out clean (i.e. not sticky) they’re ready.  Take out of the oven and leave in their tin for 5 minutes, then remove each muffin and cool on a wire rack. 

Useful information:

How to ‘fold’ – take the flat metal spoon, tilt it slightly so that it cuts down into the flour, drawing the liquid with it, then turn the spoon to be flat while it is under the flour before pulling the liquid up to the top of the flour – raising the spoon over the top flour. Repeat this top to bottom process, until the flour and courgette becomes lightly mixed in an airy way. 

Muffins contain raising agents - bicarbonate of soda and the baking powder in the self-raising flour.  Raising agents only become active when liquid is added to them. They release gas which turns into bubbles in the muffin batter which then become set into a sponge when baked in the oven.




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