Here I am again!! The holidays were great as well as the internet and social networks detox, but it is time to return to reality … Though I would love one more week to tell you the truth! But I guess I’m not the only one, am I? Let’s make some dried fruit muffins, after all 🙂
On August 27th we celebrate the memory of Saint Fanourios, patron saint of lost things . On that day or the day before we make the Fanouropita, a traditional lenten sweet cake. Christians go to church with the cake in order to take the blessing from the priest and then they distribute it to the others. The ingredients should be an odd number, seven, nine or eleven ingredients. It does not contain butter, it is an oil cake; the faithful seek to offer the pie the revelation of lost objects or people, in general or to find something they are looking for. The pie according to tradition is for the forgiveness of the mother of the Saint.
In my house we make Fanouropita very often. No, we don’t lose things so often!! We love this cake because it is very tasty and very light, so eventually we started to make this recipe without having the intention to go to church, but to have a cake for our coffee or breakfast. So the recipe was changed, enriched and finally tested with a thousand and one ways. And it became muffins. And finally it has been established and everyone adores them. Today it’s time that I share it with you.
Classic recipe, or a morden one?
This recipe is for a 35cm. pan approx.; it yields 22-24 muffins. I’ll give you the classic version (with all purpose flour and olive or vegetable oil) and the one slightly “tweaked” I made recently and I really loved it! The original recipe was by the Greek chef Vassilis Kallidis, but we always used cranberries instead of raisins because we like them more. These muffins are great with a mixture of various dried fruits as well (cranberries, blueberries, raisins, pineapple or mango or chopped apricots). As far as the oil is concerned, Fanouropita is usually made with olive oil, but many Greeks use vegetable oil for a milder taste. In the tweaked version I tried it with coconut oil and I really liked it. It is lightweight and it fits great. Whole meal flour increases the fiber for a healthier result. Walnuts contain plant sterols and antioxidants, and are rich in selenium, zinc, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, vitamins E and K. Cinnamon is a powerful antioxidant very rich in manganese, which is responsible for the formation of bones and connective tissue. For the valuable beneficial properties of cranberries you can be read here and here.
Dried Fruit Muffins
Preparation time: 15 minutes (25-30 min bake time)
- 5 lb. whole meal soft flour (or all-purpose flour )
- 1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
- 2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
- 1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
- the zest from 1 orange
- 3 oz. dried cranberries or other dried fruit of your choice
- 2 oz. walnuts, grated
- 1 ¾ cup (415 ml) orange juice
- 1 ¾ cup (415 ml) coconut oil (or olive oil or vegetable oil)
- 10 oz. brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- Preheat the oven to 180 ° C. Line the muffins tins.
- Stir all solid ingredients up to walnuts in a large bowl.
- Put all liquid ingredients in the blender and mix.
- Pour the liquid mixture in the mixture of solid ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon.
- Using two spoons fill out the muffins tins and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. (The classic version takes 5 minutes more cooking).
- Let the muffins five minutes in the forms and then remove them carefully and let them cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
*If you make classical Fanouropita in a pan it will need about 1 hour baking.