After the cheese making with Louise at Food Sorcery last week, this weekend, I decided to start to incorporate what I’d learned into my week. Over the Christmas break I had already started another sourdough starter after I, er, killed my first one. Sorry Sid. My new one (which doesn’t have a name yet, I just refer to it as baby), means that every Friday night, I start a loaf. Flour, a little water, the starter, salt and a little olive oil. The next morning, it gets a bit of a knead, a prove and into the oven it goes.
This week, whilst the loaf was in the oven, I dragged out my old battered mixer and made butter. It’s easy to do, far easier than you’d think. So easy, you can even make it using double cream and a good sized jam jar, but there are a couple of things you definitely need to do. Firstly, make sure you take it far enough to release the buttermilk – and as much of it as possible. And secondly, rinse the butter of any excess buttermilk – leaving it in will make your butter rancid.
Butter made and in the fridge, it then became a question of what to do with the buttermilk. I could have simply drunk it, it is delicious and sweet. But me being me, I put the question out on my Instagram stories. Do I use it for buttermilk chicken? Or do I used it for buttermilk apple muffins?
For hours and hours, chicken was in the lead. So much so, I pretty much planned Sunday night’s dinner around it. Buttermilk chicken, coated and oven cooked (we live in a flat, a fryer is a no), and served with either biscuits and gravy American style, or a fresh coleslaw and potato wedges. Yum.
And then I woke up the next morning and checked. Everyone was clearly craving sweet stuff, as muffins stole the show. Part of me was sad (I mean, buttermilk chicken) and the other was happy. I had apples from our Veg Box in the fridge just waiting to be used, and now I could use them up!
You can use eating apples easily for this, but for me, a cooking apple or a Bramley would add a lovely level of tartness to the muffins. They’re great with a mug of tea, or a cheeky little breakfast nibble.
A couple of side notes. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use natural yoghurt loosened with a little milk (2:1). You could also use whatever fruit takes your fancy, frozen or fresh. Some raspberries would be delicious – just omit the cinnamon and add a little vanilla extract instead, or even some white chocolate chips. Hmm – might make those next time I fancy baking!
Oh and for those who love something a little more savoury, don’t worry. I’ll make more butter next week, and make the chicken!
Buttermilk Apple Muffins
- 300 ml Buttermilk
- 200 grams Cooking apples, finely diced
- 325 grams Self raising flour
- 190 grams Golden caster sugar
- 2 Eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
- 125 grams Melted butter
Preheat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 4).
Line a muffin tin with muffin cases.
In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (sugar, cinnamon, and pieces of apple).
In a jug, mix all the wet ingredients (melted butter, eggs, and buttermilk)
Pour the wet into the dry and stir thoroughly. It will be a slightly wetter batter than you may be used to, that's totally fine!
Spoon the mixture into the cases evenly.
Pop into the oven for around 25 minutes, until you can pierce the muffins with a skewer, and it comes out cleanly.
Serve warm with a brew, or show off your handiwork and take them to the office!