Sweet treats for all the family


WASTE NOT Banana muffins are a great way of using up ripe or over-ripe bananas.

Easy to make, even easier to eat!

The Cabots

Blackberry season was racing to an end. The kids and Redmond filled a bucket of berries and set about concocting a cauldron of sweet, aromatic jam. Six big jars to keep us going throughout the winter!
It wasn’t long before Penny and Louis started begging for jam tarts. It was a school night. Getting late… In the end I crumbled – after all, there’s nothing like a jam tart straight from the oven. In truth, the process didn’t take long.
To make 24 tartlets, we put 200g flour into a bowl, crumbed in 100g butter and a drop of water and the kids took turns forming the pastry with a knife. They then took turns rolling it out and popped paper cups into the baking tins.
Using a glass, we cut the rounds, popped each in a paper, and then spooned a teaspoon of jam into the centre of each tart. Ten minutes in the oven at 200°C and we were in business! These are easy to make but very much more than the sum of their parts.
Add a dollop of cream on top of your tart and treat yourself to a mouthful of bliss!

Going bananas
There was a bunch of bananas in the fruit bowl. The kids were munching their way through them till the fruit got riper and a few brown spots appeared. ‘Do you want a banana?’, I’d ask. ‘Ugh no’, would come the reply, ‘they look horrible!’. ‘But they’re perfect!’, I’d exclaim. ‘No thanks’, they said. Very annoying.
Then I remembered a beautiful breakfast of banana muffins and coffee I’d once been served by an American friend – amazing. I don’t like muffins you get in the shop; they’re over sweet and just not nice. But the muffins we made with our over-ripe bananas were from a different muffin universe. We went for a straight, white-flour recipe but you can tweak this by replacing 50g of the flour with oatmeal or wholemeal flour.

Banana muffins

Makes 12

  • What you need
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bread soda
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 75g butter
  • 1 vanilla pod, or 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs, lightly whipped
  • 2 large ripe bananas (or 3 smaller ones), mashed
  • 125ml milk
  • Pinch of salt

What you do
Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Pop muffin cases into a twelve-hole muffin tin. You will need two bowls – one for dry ingredients, another for ‘wet’ ingredients. In the dry bowl, sieve together the flour and raising agents, caster sugar and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
Melt the butter and, in the second bowl, add to the mashed bananas, lightly whipped eggs and the seed from the vanilla pod (or the vanilla essence). To deseed the pod, cut lengthways with a sharp knife and use the back of a teaspoon to scrape the seed out. Add the milk and mix.
Make a well in the centre of the dry bowl ingredients and pour in the contents of the wet bowl. Mix gently with a fork then spoon the mix into the muffin cases.
Bake for 20-25 minutes (depending on your oven). Eat and enjoy!

— Sandra

The Cabot family live and work in Lanmore, outside Westport. Fresh, seasonal foods are their passion, from country markets to growing, making and selling. They love cooking and eating at the kitchen table, while Redmond and Sandra are kept on their toes with children Penny and Louis. Here they share their favourite recipes.