This Sunday is Mother’s Day… panic sets in if you’ve not realised this already followed by a mad dash to the card shop and a visit to the interflora website. Of course if you have little kids, you’ll need to get out the hand paints and produce an ‘art attack’ card masterpiece whilst preventing any paint / crayons / colouring pens ending up as graffiti on the furniture!
When my sister and I were younger we used to go on these amazing shopping trips with Mum. In those days it was Brent Cross or Bluewater, poor Mum being dragged round the shops laden with bags and not enough coffee stops. It was always fun to be out just the three of us and I think ‘the boys’ (the boys being two elder brothers) used to get a little jealous and actually ended up hijacking a shopping trip to town one weekend. They both went off with Mum round the London shops and my sister and I went off with Dad. Safe to say, the girls did better and I think Dad rather enjoyed a little time out spoiling his girls.
Now that my brothers and I have kids of our own, finding time to spend some quality time with Mum can be a little more challenging. And I think it’s when you have kids of your own you realise just what sacrifices you are willing to make to put your child’s needs first and therefore the measures your own Mum went to for you when you were younger to give you everything they could.
So this Saturday, (to ensure three out of the four siblings could be there – one being in Hong Kong was a little challenging to arrange) we are taking Mum out for lunch. A rare occasion to spend time just the four of us, but time spent like this means more than any bunch of flowers can and will give us the chance to show we do care and we are thankful, even if we don’t say it enough.
On Mother’s Day itself, well who knows what young Seb might have in store… Probably a 6am start and an hour of Dinopaws! But I hope there will be 10 minutes to sit down and enjoy one of these carrot, pear and pistachio muffins.
I’ve been meaning to make these for a while and have been doing a lot of baking for a friend who has a number of rowers coming to stay in a few weeks time. There has been a blood orange and almond cake, a wholemeal lemon bundt cake and finally a blueberry and sour cream loaf all sitting in the freezer ready for them.
However, these muffins felt a little more on the nutritious side for a group of rowers, so they made the list to whip up when I had some spare time. It also meant, I got to ‘taste-test’ a couple, just to make sure they were up to standard for the men taking to the Thames on Boat Race Day.
The only real reason I adapted the recipe from the original apple, carrot and pecan crumble muffins by the Little Loaf, was that this was what I had in the fridge and cupboards, but I’m sure you could sub in other nuts and fruits depending on your preference or what you have sitting round. I must admit I went onto bake a batch of the original recipe later that day too once I’d made it to the shops!
They are lovely and moist and rich with spices whilst packing a big wholesome punch. The crumble topping is what really makes them, giving a golden crispy top hiding a soft healthy yet indulgent muffin underneath.
The muffins are packed full of goodness and are great as a snack on the go not just for a bunch of hungry rowers but also for a tiny toddler in need of some quick nourishment before launching himself head first down the tallest slide at the park… oh that’s just my son then.
Happy Mother’s Day – hopefully you’ll get 20 minutes free to whip these up and 5 minutes to eat one!
Carrot, pear and pistachio crumble muffins
Barely adapted from The Little Loaf carrot, apple and pecan crumble muffins.
Makes 8-10 muffins
For the crumble topping:
25g spelt flour
15g unsalted cold butter
1 heaped tsp coconut sugar (can sub for light muscovado sugar)
2 tbsp giant oats
1 tsp pistachios, half roughly chopped
1 tsp sunflower seeds
1 tsp pumpkin seeds
1 tsp agave nectar / honey
1 tsp water
For the muffin mix:
75g wholemeal flour
75g spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
80ml melted coconut oil / rapeseed oil
2 large eggs
75g coconut sugar
45g caster sugar
1 medium carrot, grated
1 pear, skin on, grated
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g pistachios, chopped
25g dessicated coconut
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C and line a muffin tin with paper cases
To make the crumble:
Combine the flour, butter and coconut sugar in a bowl. Rub the mixture together to form a crumbly mixture. Add your oats, sunflower and pumpkin seeds and stir to mix. Add the agave nectar and honey and stir again so that you have a slightly wet sandy mixture. Keep your pistachios to one side to sprinkle on the top of the crumble.
To make the muffins:
Sift your flours, baking powder, salt and spices in a bowl.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil and both sugars in a bowl. Add your carrot, pear and vanilla extract and whisk again. Fold through your pistachios, sultanas and dessicated coconut.
Fold through the flour mixture and combine gently, but do not over mix. You will have a lumpy mixture but that’s ok.
Spoon your muffin mixture into your muffin cases and sprinkle on the crumble topping followed by your pistachios.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. You should have a golden crisp top to your muffin and a skewer should come out clean.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
The muffins will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days or can be frozen once they are completely cooled.