It’s only been 5 days…Part of me couldn’t wait to get out of London but part of me knew that I would miss the buzz & fast paced vibe. I was a stones throw away from the hub of the Greek & Turkish community where the streets were paved with 24hrs fruit & vegetable stores and amazing bakeries. They were unbelievably cheap and full of unusual & exciting stuff. My local grocery stores, TFC & Sirwan were just fantastic; everything was so fresh & delicious. The Portuguese café at the end of the road was the place to go for the best custard tarts. In comparison, my local grocer in Oxford is a Co-op Swift Store…hmmm. However, it’s not all bad as I’ve discovered an Indian food store about 20mins walk away that sells a huge range of gluten & wheat-free flours at bargain prices.
Flicking through the muffin book (that I’ve adopted since moving in with my significant other), I came across a recipe for honey & pistachio muffins. These are very evocative of the yummy but very sweet & sticky Baklava. I adapted this recipe to make it wheat-free, using my newly acquired barley flour (gluten-free flour alternative can also be used). I was amazed how these muffins actually grew in the oven and the texture was authentically muffin-like. They are best eaten warm drizzled with honey & served with a dollop of yoghurt.
Honey & Pistachio Muffin (Wheat-Free)
Adaptation of Carol Tennant ‘Homemade Muffins’
1/3 cup barley flour
1/3 cup sorghum flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1 level tsp arrow root
1 level tsp xantham gum
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp chopped pistachios
2 tbsp chopped almonds
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp honey
½ cup soy milk
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C. Grease a 6 cup muffin pan or line with muffin cups
2. Mix the flours, baking powder, xantham gum, arrow root & spices in a large bowl. Stir in 1 ½ tbsp of the pistachios & 1 ½ tbsp of the almonds, and the sugar.
3. In another bowl, mix 1 tbsp of honey with the milk, oil & egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, all at once and stir briefly until just combined.
4. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the remaining nuts and bake until risen & golden, 18-20mins. Cool in the pan for 10mins, and then turn out onto a wire rack.