My best friend Sophie M loves savoury muffins. Like crazy loves. She will buy one almost every day to have for morning tea. In her muffin quests, she has come to be quite the connoisseur. I always get really nervous when I make them for her for fear they will not live up to her high standards. For some reason, she still thinks mine are some of the best. I find this odd considering mine always come out kind of flat and not overflowing and lush like the ones she buys. Clearly it really must be what is on the inside that counts. I always roast my vegetable cubes before putting them in the muffin mix. Roasting the vegetable cubes before putting them in the muffin mix helps to concentrate the natural sugars, making the final product just that little bit sweeter. Feta cheese also helps to keep the muffin moist on the inside. I think the trick to a good savoury muffin though is ample chunky filling.
Makes 20 small muffins
- 3 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- 3 eggs
- 2 ¼ cups milk
- 75g butter, melted
- 300g pumpkin, cubed into small pieces
- 200g frozen spinach portions
- 1 small onion, diced
- splash of oil
- 2 cups grated cheese
- 100–200g feta (the more the merrier), plus extra to garnish
- small handful of parsley or mint, finely chopped
- sunflower or pumpkin seeds to finish
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees on bake. Line a tray with baking paper. Toss the pumpkin cubes in the oil, then scatter across the baking tray with a sprinkling of salt. Bake for 40 minutes until tender, then remove from the oven and leave to cool. Alternatively, microwave the cubes in a container of just boiled water for 5–6 minutes until the cubes are tender, then drain well and leave to cool.
- Chop the frozen spinach portions up into shreds while they are still frozen. Submerge the shreds in boiling water and leave until defrosted. Drain well and squeeze out all the excess moisture.
- Sauté the onion in a splash of oil until translucent, then put to one side.
- Keep the oven set to 180 degrees on bake and line two muffin trays with muffin cases or grease them really well.
- Sieve all the dry ingredients together, then make a well in the centre. Whisk together the eggs, milk and melted butter, then pour the mixture into the well. Give the batter a quick stir until just combined. It is okay if there are lumps of flour — these will sort themselves out in the oven and it is super important you don’t over-mix.
- Tip the pumpkin, spinach, onion, cheese, feta and herbs into the batter and quickly stir to evenly disperse.
- Spoon the batter into the muffin trays, topping each muffin with some extra feta or grated cheese and a couple of seeds. Bake for 15 minutes or until a skewer poked into the centre of one of them comes out clean.