250g Quark (I used 'The Lake District Dairy Co Quark)
65ml Skimmed Milk
60ml Sunflower Oil
1 Large Egg
60g Soft Brown Sugar
150g Spelt Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
1 pinch Salt
50g Dried Dates
1 Cup of hot strong tea
Soak the dried fruit in the tea. You can do this overnight if you are organised, or for at least an hour, if like me you chose to bake on a whim!
Pre-heat the oven to 200c and prepare a 12 hole muffin tin. My non-stick tin from George Wilkinson didn't need lining, but use paper liners if you prefer (they look a little prettier too)
Mix the quark, milk and oats together and allow to soak for five minutes
Add the oil, egg and sugar and beat well. You should have quite a sludgy mixture at this stage.
Drain the dried fruit which should be nice and soft.
Weigh out the flour and mix in the bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt. Now sift this into the oat mixture. scatter all the dried fruit in and then fold everything together quickly
Dollop into your muffin tins. Don't worry too much about levelling off, because these will rise nicely in the pan. If you like, scatter a few oat flakes on top.
Bake for around 20 minutes until golden brown and cooked so that a skewer comes out clean.
Take the muffins out of the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing them from the tin. Allow to cool on a wire rack, rewarding yourself with one while it is still lovely and warm.
You can vary the dried fruit used. The original recipe suggested dried dates, chopped dried apricots or dried cranberries. I'm planning on trying the recipe with apricots which I think would be delicious! If you are not using sultanas, raisins or currants, there is no need to soak the fruit in tea, though you might like to soak cranberries in orange juice.
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