I battled so much with Alyssa between the ages of 2 and 4 to get her to eat anything other than 5-6 different foods… one of which was cheese and another pizza! Fixing this was by no means a magic cure at all, however something that greatly helped was when Alyssa started to discover where food came from. Thanks to my allotment this year and grandma’s last year, Alyssa has been able to watch seeds go into the ground and with a little love and care (and finger crossing) food has been produced. The other day, we picked a lot of produce for dinner and she asked me if she could have lettuce on her plate that evening because she grew it. She had never tried lettuce before or eaten it; but that night it went on her plate, she tried it, ate it, swallowed it. I count that as another massive win and the range of foods she now enjoys is so much vaster than I could ever have hoped for. Last week, we got the opportunity to head to Blagdon Fruit Farm in Chickerell, Weymouth Dorset and do some fruit picking which I absolutely adore. I took Alyssa along with me and also thought that we’d make a delicious treat with the fruits of our labour which resulted in my Strawberry Jam Muffins recipe I shall be sharing with you.
In case you are in the Dorset area and looking for a great pick your own, I thoroughly recommend Blagdon Fruit Farm. Fantastic polytunnels with mounds of strawberries (during Covid, you do need to wear a mask in the tunnels) but also outdoor strawberries, loganberries, rhubarb, beans, apples, redcurrants, blackcurrants and so much more.
On our trip down, we were able to pick strawberries and loganberries which were ripe for the picking. If you follow Blagdon Fruit Farm on Facebook, the owners regularly update you on what is available for picking. You can take your own punnets or they have plenty there of varying sizes that have been thoroughly washed ready for use.
A delightful surprise of the whole place is that there is actually a little tearoom with icecream, hot and cold drinks, cakes etc. available. We were able to purchase the most delicious cream tea to take home and enjoy. The scones were humongous and it was lovely to see our cream was from Craig’s Dairy Farm, just a short way up the road, so yet another Dorset business.
Super easy to find, loads of parking and during the summer there are also wonderful lawn games such as Cornhole out for all to enjoy as well as grass for picnics and some chickens and ducks in a coop nearby. If you are looking for a lovely place to take the family which is so much more than just a Pick Your Own then I’d definitely recommend Blagdon Fruit Farm if for nothing but the incredible cream tea… as well as the sweetest strawberries I’ve ever tasted!
Of course, once I had the fruit I then had to think about what I wanted to make with them as there are so many different strawberry recipes. I seem to have A LOT of muffin recipes and I think it is because they are so versatile but I wanted to try and take things to the next level and I came up with the idea of a Strawberry Jam Muffins Recipe. Essentially I would make a really thick compote or jam from the fruit and use this in my standard muffin recipe… the results were awesome AND delicious! So you can either make your own compote/jam like me OR you can simply by a cheap jar of jam and use that instead. So here we are… my Strawberry Jam Muffins recipe for you to enjoy!
Ingredients (makes approx 16):
For the Compote/Jam:
- 500g of Strawberries
- 75g of Sugar
- Juice of Half a Lemon
- Alternatively simply buy a Jar of Jam and mix to loosen and make runnier
For the Muffins:
- 8 tablespoons vegetable/sunflower oil
- 250ml milk
- 2 egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 200g caster sugar
- 450g plain flour
- If you are making the compote, simply take the stalks off your strawberries (don’t forget these can go in the compost!) and pop in a saucepan with a tablespoon of water, the sugar and lemon juice. Pop onto a low heat and leave for a few hours, occasionally stirring and smushing the strawberries until it resembles jam. If it is a little tart for you, then do add in more sugar. Allow to cool.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees and pop some muffin cases in a muffin cake tin.
- In a large bowl, mix all the wet muffin ingredients together and in a separate bowl, mix all the dried ingredients together. Then sift the dry ingredients into the wet, gradually, stirring or mixing as you go.
- Next, take two thirds of your strawberry compote or jam and add it to the mix and stir it through until fully integrated. Into the muffin tin, spoon your muffin mixture. I tend to fill to just below the top of the case and I use an ice cream scoop for this.
- On top of the mixture, evenly distribute the remaining strawberry compote which for me worked out to be roughly a heaped teaspoon per muffin.
- Pop these into the oven for roughly 20 minutes or until golden brown on top and a stick comes out clean when popped into a cake. Transfer to a cooling rack and allowed to cool down before digging right in. Be aware that the compote/jam will be bubbling hot when you take them from the oven and a little while afterwards so be super careful!