I was in the kitchen and my 10-year-old son asked me what I was making and I told him “Muffins”. He looked at the ingredients on my chopping board expecting to see chocolate (or some other mouth-watering ingredient) and said “ew they aren’t muffins, they are ‘muffins of DEATH” bahaha!…..how rude!
I was taught this recipe by a very talented Baker and have made and sold a thousand since they are so good! I make large Texas-sized ones and they are large enough to eat for lunch. They are cheesy with a light texture and filled with tasty butternut pumpkin and fresh spinach. Also added sun-dried tomatoes and feta make them super tasty, adding a bit of sharpness.
The base recipe for these savoury muffins is nearly the same as the sweet ones I make, minus the sugar and with milk instead of the yoghurt. As long as they have grated cheese and seasoning in them, you can pretty much add all sorts of tasty ingredients. However, the amount of milk will change depending on how wet or dry the veggies are and that’s something I’ve learnt from making many a muffin, good and bad. For example, cooked potatoes are firmer and drier than pumpkin so I add more milk to the potato ones. Avocados are very mushy so when I make Guacamole muffins I use very little milk. Same goes for sweet muffins, soft raspberries will take less yoghurt than the firmer blueberries.
Here’s the recipe, I hope you try it and love them as much as I do 🙂
350 grams (12 oz) butternut pumpkin (squash)
pinch table salt
200 grams large, fresh spinach leaves (1 cup when wilted & chopped)
3/4 cup crumbled feta (approx 100 grams)
1 packed cup grated tasty cheese (or your favourite kind)
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
115 grams butter
2 large eggs (I use size 7’s)
2 cups standard flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup milk
Optional – 3 tablespoons of raw pumpkin seeds
Also Optional – x 12 muffin cases or x 6 large Texas size muffin cases
This recipe makes x 12 normal sized muffins or x 6 large Texas size muffins
- Butternut pumpkin tastes great but you can, of course, use any pumpkin for these. 🙂
- The weight of the spinach leaves does not include the stalks 🙂
- If you prefer, you can leave the feta, sun-dried tomatoes or both out of this recipe, it won’t make a difference to how they turn out.
- Frozen spinach is fine to use, just make sure it is totally defrosted and then placed in a tea towel and wrung out (it is very watery and will make the muffin batter wetter which will change the texture of the muffins and the baking time).
STEP BY STEP
First, spray the muffin holes with non-stick cooking spray or place your muffins cases into the holes (no need to spray those).
First, chop the pumpkin into larger pieces, deseed it and then peel it. Then chop it up into little 2 cm (3/4 inch) cubes (roughly).
Place the butternut pieces in a saucepan and cover them with water, also adding a pinch of salt. Over a high heat bring it to a boil and then turn it down to a lower heat where it’s just boiling (simmering). Cook the pumpkin until the pieces are tender and can be pierced easily with a knife.
- Please don’t cook the pumpkin until it starts to fall apart, only until they are just cooked. I’ve overcooked it many times and when the pumpkin is mushy it makes the muffin batter wetter which changes their nice texture and also their cooking time.
Drain it immediately and leave it to cool down.
Now remove the spinach leaves from the stalks. Wash them in a sink of cold water and then remove the plug.
Fill and boil your jug (kettle).
Place the leaves in a large bowl and just cover them in boiling water. Leave them submerged for 30 seconds and then…..
…..pour the spinach and water into a colander (in the kitchen sink) or through a sieve and run some cold water through it until it’s cooled down.
Next using your hands squeeze most of the water out and then place it in the centre of a tea towel (a clean one of course!)
Wrap it up in the tea towel (like a vagabond’s bag) and then over the kitchen sink squeeze it through the tea towel, removing any remaining water.
Roughly slice or chop it up and add it to the pumpkin.
Also crumble up the feta if it isn’t already, grate the cheese if you need to and thinly slice up the sun-dried tomatoes.
Leave it all aside for a bit.
Time to preheat the oven to 170°C fan bake oven or 190°C conventional oven, on bake, with a rack situated in the centre of the oven.
Next in a small saucepan, over a low heat, melt the butter (without boiling it) and then set it aside for a tick……
- Alternatively, cut it into cubes and melt it in the microwave on HIGH for about 1 min 20 seconds.
Add the eggs to a large bowl and using the biggest spoon you have lightly beat them until they are combined.
Now stir in the hot butter.
- I was told using hot butter in muffins gives them a nice colour.
Now add the flour, the baking powder, the salt and pepper and the…..
…..pumpkin, the beautiful, wilted and chopped spinach, the feta, the grated cheese, the sun-dried tomatoes and the milk.
Gently fold it all together until it’s just combined….no over mixing!…..they no likey!
Divide the mix either into your x 12 hole muffin pan or…..
…..your x 6 Texas-sized muffin pan, checking that they all around the same size. If they differ n size take some mix from the larger ones and place it on the smaller ones. Also just gently put the mix it without pushing it down as they won’t rise as much.
- If you use damp hands to gently roll soft balls rather than spooning the mix into the tins they bake into a much nicer shape.
Also if you are using them, sprinkle the pumpkin seeds all over the tops (as many as you like really!)
Pop them in the hot oven for 30 minutes (smaller ones) or 40 minutes (Texas ones).
Test they are ready by inserting a small, sharp knife into the centres, it should come out clean (with no wet batter on it).
Enjoy these still warm from the oven with lashings of butter (goes without saying!)
Keepin’ em fresh – Because of all the cheese, I store these in an airtight container, in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just make sure they have cooled down properly first or the container will get filled with condensation and make them wet and all ‘pastie’ looking!
To reheat just pop one in the microwave on high for 50 seconds or wrap one in cooking foil and place a hot oven (160°C fan bake oven or 180°C conventional oven, on bake) for about 10 minutes. 🙂
Love muffins?! There are more recipes here!
“I was told using hot butter in muffins gives them a nice colour” I was taught this by an amazing baker so I assume it’s true and my muffins turn out great so I guess it is lol. Has anyone ever heard this before?