Monday, January 13, 2014

Apricot Muffins for #MuffinMonday



Canned apricots and their syrup add wonderful flavor to this vanilla muffin, made even prettier when topped with a sliced apricot half before baking.

Today’s muffin comes to you with a little added history lesson.  Did you know that canned food, first in glass bottles and then in cans made out of tin plate, dates back as far as 1809?  Canning was first devised as a way to feed armies on the move and sailors on long sea voyages, until mechanized production of the actual cans and the sterilization of their contents eventually made canned food accessible and affordable to the masses.  What I find funniest about this whole story is that the first can opener wasn’t invented until 30 years after the first can.  Soldiers used bayonets and rocks to open them.

Nowadays we take for granted that grocery store suppliers fly in fresh produce from all over the world and we can eat most anything, even out of season, because it’s in season somewhere.  We also take for granted the humble can.  According to a BBC magazine article quoting the Can Manufacturers Institute in Washington DC, Europe and the US alone use more than 40 billion cans of food a year!  This week’s muffin, using canned apricots, is a tribute to the innovators who first came up with the idea.  Gentlemen, I salute you!

Ingredients
1 can (14.5 oz or 410g, net weight) apricot halves in syrup
1 3/4 cups or 220g flour
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup or 60g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup or 60ml milk
1/4 cup or 60ml apricot syrup (from the can of apricot halves)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg

Method
Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Prepare your 12-cup muffin pan by putting liners in the muffin cups or greasing them well with butter or non-stick spray.

Drain your apricots, making sure to save the syrup.  Set aside the prettiest six for decorating the tops before baking.


Chop the rest of them in small pieces.  Cut the pretty ones in half and then make three slits almost all the way through to the top so that you can fan out the apricot half in four sections.



Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.


Whisk together the melted butter, milk, syrup, vanilla and egg in a bowl until combined well.


Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold to combine.


Gently fold in your chopped apricots.



Divide batter among muffin cups.

Decorate each with a fanned out apricot half.


Bake in your preheated oven until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes.



Remove to a wire rack to cool.


Enjoy!



7 comments :

  1. Hey, I like the way you decorated the muffin, looks so cute and bright!

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  2. Are you able to swap out ingredients with this recipe, say, instead of adding apricots; using blueberries instead? Or strawberries?

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  3. These are beautiful, Stacy. I love apricots, but didn't start loving them until recently, so now I'm making up for lost time and eating them as much as possible!

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  4. Absolutely! I also have a lot of other muffin posts with blueberries and strawberries.

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  5. These are so beautiful - almost too pretty to eat.............almost!

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