About this recipe:This is an amalgamation of several recipes and has worked for me countless times. It works with any soft fresh fruit - try blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries - and it's great with tinned peaches, mango or mandarins, too. Makes 24 regular muffins or 30 to 36 small-case muffins.
310g sugar (e.g. soft light brown or golden caster)
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon lemon, almond or vanilla extract (see tip)
400g gluten free flour
3 heaped teaspoons gluten free baking powder
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Method Prep:15min › Cook:20min › Ready in:35min
Preheat oven to 180 C / 160 C fan / Gas 4. Grease two 12-hole muffin tins or line with paper cases.
Add the squeezed lemon juice to the milk and set aside. (Yes, it will go chunky - it will react with the gluten free baking powder later, providing extra 'lift'.)
Lightly mix the fruit with the ground almonds, to thoroughly coat them - because coated fruit will not sink to the bottom during baking.
Cream together the butter and sugar; add eggs one at a time, with the extract and lemon zest, and beat until creamy and smooth. If doing this manually, pre-beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add some of it at a time.
Add the flour and baking powder, alternating with the lemon milk. (Remember, this is gluten-free, so you don't have to worry about over-mixing the dry with the wet. In fact, incorporate as much air as you can). Fold in the fruit/ground almond mixture.
Spoon into muffin cases no more than 3/4 full. The batter should 'dollop' and not be too runny, but hold its shape.
Bake for 20 minutes or so turning trays halfway through for even baking until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack before enjoying.
If using tinned fruit, try to use fruit-juice based options (not syrup); drain well, and reserve the liquid to make up no more than half the total milk amount (250ml).
Use 'extract' not 'essence' - the latter can be very chemically-tasting and has no natural flavourings. Match your extract with your fruit - the pictured examples are raspberry with lemon extract. Almond extract goes well with cherries; vanilla with peaches or almost anything else.