Saturday, 18 October 2014

Patty Pan, Purple Carrot, Pine Nut & Cheese Savoury Muffins

A while back I made some savoury muffins which were baked with a courgette-based polenta sponge. They were good! We ate through them pretty quick....... mainly for lunches. We had them straight, filled like little round sandwiches and also toasted. They were really good toasted!

Unfortunately all our fresh home-grown courgettes have long since been eaten, but in their place we now have a store of beautiful yellow patty pan squashes, harvested from the veg patch and carefully stored in the larder.

I love patty pans. Apart from the fact that they are amazingly easy to grow, they also last well into the winter (if you don't eat them all at once). They are delicious roasted with a drizzle of olive oil and seasoning and make a fantastic curry. But if you grate them, they also make a perfect alternative to courgettes if you want to liven up a savoury sponge. This recipe is definitely testament to their versatility.

After my last batch of meaty muffins, this time I wanted to go for a vegetarian option. But unsure what I wanted to incorporate into the recipe, I took a trip down to my favourite local farm shop - Macknade in Faversham, Kent and had a scout along their veg tables. I love Macknade....... the sheer variety of vegetables, fruit, cheese and other foodie delights they sell is quite astounding, with stock from abroad as well as lots of local offerings from Kent producers.

Rummaging through their selection, I came across some beautiful purple carrots produced locally and instantly knew they were the right pairing for my squashes. I've never eaten carrots this purple before and they seriously coloured my fingers when I grated them, but the depth of flavour is so worth it. Definitely carrot........ but with a much more earthy, country flavour hidden within.

To enrich the muffins further I have thrown in some mature English cheddar and a handful of toasted pine nuts which give each mouthful a nutty tang and a contrasting 'bite'.

I love the colour of the finished bake............ the yellow flecks in the sponge, the purply splodges, the hidden pine nuts and the golden crust. Like the meaty version, they are delicious toasted and taste absolutely fabulous slathered with spoonfuls of houmous, topped with spicy beetroot.

I am sharing my muffins with a few challenges for October :

Tea Time Treats with Karen at Lavender & Lovage (co-hosted by Janie over at The Hedge Combers), who is this month celebrating a very seasonal 'cooking and baking with vegetables'. These little savoury bakes are stuffed full of them and I am sure are much healthier for it!

For that reason, they are also a perfect offering to this month's Extra Veg challenge brought to us by A Mummy Too, Fuss Free Flavours and Utterly Scrummy. The hidden patty pan squash and purple carrot definitely qualifies as 'extra'.

Shop Local with Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary : The purple carrots are locally grown and sourced from a local farm shop and the pattypans are straight from the garden!

Simple & in Season with Ren Behan. This is the best time of year for squashes and the carrots are as fresh as they come......

And finally Vegetable Palette over at Allotment2Kitchen. This month, Shaheen has picked 'halloween colours' to cook with. Although they weren't produced with any halloween intent, when I looked at the pictures of these muffins, even I had to admit they looked like they had been beaten up!

Patty Pan, Purple Carrot, Pine Nut & Cheese Savoury Muffins (makes 24 muffins)


160g plain gluten free flour mix (I used blend A from this post)
160g fine ground polenta
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1½ teaspoons GF baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
ground black pepper (to taste)
1½ teaspoons paprika
140g mature cheddar (grated) - choose a vegetarian version if you need to.
3 large eggs 
90 ml olive oil
160 ml plain yoghurt
180 ml milk
150g grated weight -  patty pan squash (de-seeded and peeled)
1 medium purple carrot - grated
2 to 3 tablespoons pine nuts (toasted)


  1. Prepare non-stick muffin tins by either lining with baking cases or lightly greasing.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4. 
  3. Weigh and mix together the flour, polenta, xanthan gum, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, pepper and paprika, making sure any lumps are broken down.
  4. Add and stir in the grated cheese.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, yoghurt and milk. 
  6. Add and fold in the grated squash, carrot, pine nuts and flour-cheese mix until evenly combined (do not over-mix).
  7. Spoon into the muffin cases and bake for about 20 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and the tops spring back to the touch.
  8. Leave in the tins for about 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
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  1. I've only ever seen patty pan squash before in the supermarkets and not my kitchen table so I've never actually tried it. However, you've made me want to give these ago now. I like the idea of a savoury carrot cake/muffin too and by using purple ones these are really quite pretty!

    1. You are truly missing out. I love patty pan!!! Have just eaten it roasted too..... yum!

  2. They are so pretty and I love the purple patches. I'd love some of these for lunch

    1. Thanks Katie. Those carrots are such an amazing colour!

  3. You are so lucky to have patty pan growing! The recipe is a really good one.

    1. Thank you! It's amazing how easy they have been to grow... definitely one of my favourites as a gardener and as an eater!

    2. I might consider growing them next year. I've decided not to grow courgettes then, so patty pan could be an idea!

  4. Oh those patty pans are so pretty. I didn't know they had good keeping qualities and assumed they had to be eaten pretty soon after picking. Might try growing some next year. Love savoury muffins and your combination sounds scrumptious. Love the colour combination too.

    1. Thanks Choclette. I love patty pans. And they do last really well..... Last year we were still eating them at Christmas!....... I would really recommend growing them, not least because they don't need endless attention either.

  5. I like the idea of making savoury muffins. I find them great for children pack lunches too as they are healthy and filling at the same time. I could do with a couple for lunch myself. I love this recipe.
    You are doing very well with your yellow squashes. I have never grown them. I don't have a garden anymore unfortunately. It is fabulous being able to grow your own vegetables.

    1. Thanks Alida. I agree, they are fab for packed lunches! Such a shame you don't have a garden anymore..... but at least you get to enjoy the amazing Italian food garden!

  6. these muffins look delicious - I love vegies in muffins and purple carrots are lots of fun - imagine having purple hands for halloween :-)

    1. Thanks Johanna. It's almost worth pulping a few to get the full effect!

  7. These are just lovely. I only ever thinly slice and grill patty pan. Thanks for sharing with #Extraveg

    1. You're welcome Helen. I'd never baked in quite this way with patty pan before either. I figured that if it worked for courgette, patty pan must work too! It did!!

  8. Thank you so so much Kate, for sharing these delicious savoury bites (thanks for making them veggie too!) :) I like the sound of them really, especially the addition of pine nuts, different. The round up will be up later today, I hope you will participate next month too. Thank you.

    1. You're welcome Shaheen. After having the veggie cheese issue brought to my attention, I have become quite aware that cheese is not always what it seems! The pine nuts here definitely added a very different texture and flavour.

  9. Oh these do sound rather scrummy! You make gluten free look so gorgeous! Thank you for sharing with Shop Local


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