I love how food – the smell of something as it bakes, or the colour of ingredients – can take you right back to a different time in your life. These muffins do that for me. The scent of these when they come out the oven makes me think of sitting on our deck in Canada with my sisters, when I was aged four or five, and eating these. They seemed such big muffins then, needing both hands to hold one…

Here is the recipe – well used – as it appears in my mother’s recipe book. For ease of deciphering it, I have also typed it out below.


Date and Orange Muffins

1 orange
½ cup orange juice
½ cup chopped dates
1 egg
½ cup/4 oz cold butter
1 ½ cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2/3 cup caster sugar
½ teaspoon salt


Turn the oven to 200°C
Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir together.
Peel the orange and cut the flesh into a blender. Add the juice, dates, butter and egg. Blend together.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Stir together to moisten – do not overstir or you will end up with tough muffins!
Fill your muffin cases in their tray – this recipe makes 12 big muffins or 18 average sized ones. Bake for 15-18 minutes. These keep well at room temperature for 2-3 days without going stale.