It must be lazy Sunday afternoons that bring on the baking mood… come to think of it, it may be a subconscious habit – because every Sunday afternoon at boarding school while the younger kids napped, I was let loose on the kitchen unsupervised. I don’t remember now what successes came out of that experience, but I can say that I have not been game to tackle toffee in the 25 years since!

Regardless whence the urge comes, I only know that when the craving to bake hits, muffins are the first thing that come to mind. Possibly because I have lots of friends with kids; and muffins are kid-sized snacks.

This one was inspired by a scant 5 minutes of TV – when I caught the River Cottage man making lemon curd muffins – and remembered all that apricot jam I’d made, still in the pantry waiting to be used. As well, I had the scrummiest Apricot Chocolate Chip Cake many years back, and still think of it as a high moment in my epicurean life. Combine these ideas with my favourite fruit loaf, where the dried fruit is soaked in boiling water with baking soda to soften it, and you have what I have concocted today.

I went with both options, but not together – choc chips scattered throughout one half of the mix, and apricot jam sandwiched in the other. There you have it – Apricot Muffins – 2 ways! Take your pick. 

Apricot Muffins – 2 ways

Wet Mix

½ (100g) cup margarine
½ (100g) cup sugar
1 egg
½ cup buttermilk (soured milk)
1 cup (200g) diced apricots
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup boiling water 

Dry Mix

1 ½ cups SR flour
½ cup desiccated coconut 


Apricot jam
Choc chips 


Preheat the oven and line muffins pans with large patty pans.  

Combine the dried apricots, water and baking soda, and allow to sit and soak for 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, thoroughly blend the softened margarine and sugar and then beat in the egg and buttermilk. Add the apricots, and then fold in the flour and coconut.  

For the jammy ones:

Place one tablespoon of the mixture in the base of 8 patty pans, top with a teaspoon of jam, and cover that with another tablespoon of muffin mixture. 

For the choc-chip ones:

Add 1/3 cups choc chips to the mixture, and spoon into 8 patty pans (fill to ¾ full).

Makes 15 or so… 

Bake at 200°C for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. 

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