I am very fond of mince pies, and most years I produce a fair few jars of homemade mincemeat in November, in anticipation of the creation of dozens of festive treats. Christmas this year was relatively quiet, and I only used one jar in anger. I didn't even manage to offload any onto unsuspecting friends. Apple and mincemeat crumble accounted for some of the surplus, and at the weekend I made mincemeat muffins. This is a recipe which a friend gave me about ten years ago, when muffins were the new baking trend. I have no idea where it came from!
10 oz plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
0.5 tsp salt
3 oz granulated sugar
8 fl oz milk
8 fl oz mincemeat
3 fl oz vegetable oil
3 oz sultanas (optional)
icing sugar for dusting
1. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases, or you can just grease them if you want.
2. Sift all the dry ingredients, (except the sultanas, obviously), into a large mixing bowl.
3. Put all the liquid ingredients into another bowl. This is easiest if you use a large measuring jug and start with the mincemeat, then add the milk on top so that the level reaches 16oz and then add the oil. Break the egg into the jug and give the whole thing a good whisk.
4. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry. Using a wooden spoon mix them quickly together, until no dry flour is visible. Strangely, the batter is supposed to be lumpy! If you are using sultanas, add these with the last few stirs.
5. Fill the muffin cases until they are three-quarters full and bake for 20-25 minutes at 190C/ Gas Mark 5. They are ready when the tops spring back when they are gently pressed. Dust with icing sugar when cool.
These didn't hang around very long! I prefer muffins to the sickly sweet cupcakes which supplanted them in the cake-eating public's affections. And as for cake pops...life is just too short. (Apologies to the very accomplished bakers who can actually make them!)