~~Half Term Treats
February Half Term can always be a bit tricky keeping the kids occupied, especially when the weather can still be a bit challenging. So this month I have done two recipes for you, which are very child friendly, in both the making and the eating.
They are for Blueberry and Banana American Muffins and Tuna Pasties. Not only are these easy to make with children, if you want to fill a rainy morning, but they are good to take out on an adventure. I won’t claim that they are super healthy; however they do contain some healthy ingredients, so can fall into the “not too naughty treat” category.
Both recipes hail back to the 90’s, which I seem to forget is now twenty years ago, making these a fairly “retro” offering. In my opinion it doesn’t matter whether a the recipe is an Eliza Smith from the 1720’s or a Delia Smith from the 1990’s – if it works and tastes good, it is a recipe worth having up your sleeve. I’ve avoided anything chocolaty this month, for those of you who have given it up for Lent. Soon be time to dust off the Easter books.
For the Blueberry and Banana Muffins, it is worthwhile buying some tulip style muffin cases, as this does make them look “authentic” coffee shop quality. You can get these pretty much anywhere these days and I think are worth a few pence extra. When mixing your muffins you need to just bring the mixture together, it shouldn’t be smooth like a cake batter. Lumpy is Good! You will get 10 good sized muffins out of this mixture. Remember if you want that classic dome top, fill the mixture up to the top of the cases. In the 2 spare muffin spaces in you tin, fill this with water. The steam generated will ensure you get a good rise. Finally don’t over bake them, keep a close eye on that last five minutes.
Blueberry and Banana Muffins
Two medium sized mixing bowls, on big mixing bowl, scales, wire whisk, big metal spoon, little pan, sieve, butter knife, dessert spoon, potato masher, muffin tin, tulip muffin cases
12 oz/350g Plain Flour
5oz/150g White Granulated Sugar plus extra for sprinkling on top
1 level tbsp Baking Powder
2 Local Free Range Eggs, lightly beaten
6floz/175ml butter milk (if your mixture feels too stiff, put a drop more in, but it is quite a robust batter)
4oz/115g Unsalted Melted Butter
7oz/200g (1 punnet) Fresh Blueberries
1 Ripe Banana, mashed up with a potato masher
Preheat oven to 190oc fan/Gas Mark 5
Melt the butter in your little pan
Whisk all of your wet ingredients together (eggs, milk, butter)and then stir in the banana
Sieve all the dry ingredients together (Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder and Salt)
Combine all of your wet ingredients with the dry. Don’t over mix.
Put your blueberries in and gently bring it all together.
Fill 10 muffin cases up to the top and sprinkle some granulated white sugar on the top
Bake for 20/25 min The tops will gently spring back when touched and they are a nice golden brown. Oven varies, so keep an eye on them.
Take tray out and put on a cooling rack, leaving the muffins in for about 5 mins. Take the muffins out of the tin and continue to let them cool on the rack.
Mini Tuna Pasties
Rolling pin, plain 3 ½ inch or 8 ½ cm cutter, pizza wheel, pastry brush, fork, jug, bowl, metal spoon, zester, pepper mill, baking tray, baking paper, sieve.
500g Block of puff pastry
One 170g tin of dolphin friendly tuna fish (either in brine or sunflower oil)
Tub of cream cheese with chives or plain, if you don’t like oniony
Lemon Zest from half organic and unwaxed lemon
Seasoning to taste
Local free range egg (beaten for glazing)
Flour for dusting work top
Preheat oven to 180c
Line baking tray with paper
Roll out your puff pastry
Cut out as many circles as you can, I got 17 out of this quantity, including re rolling it.
Put on tray to chill in fridge whilst you make the filling
Mix together tuna, cream cheese, lemon zest and seasoning
Take your pastry circles out of the fridge
Lay them out on the work top
Brush around the edge of each of your circles with beaten egg
Put a teaspoon of mixture into the centre of each
Fold over and seal the edges, press around your semi-circle with a fork. Don’t worry if a bit of the filling squishes out of the side, you will be trimming the edges anyway.
Put onto the baking trays and trim around your forked edge with the pizza cutter or a sharp knife
Glaze with beaten egg
Bake for 25mins until golden brown.
Take of the trays and cool on racks
You will probably have a bit of filling left over, don’t throw it out as it is delicious grilled on toast with a bit of grated cheddar on top. Cooks treat!