Foodie Friday – Mega Muffin Batch

In our 3 months of enforced cleverness, I did a lot of baking.  A lot!  Berry choc chip muffins have always been a favourite, but at $3.85 for a tin of berries or pie apple, I thought there had to be a better way!  With serendipitous timing, Aldii started stocking large tins of apple/berry pie filling, and at $2 a tin, I decided to try it.  What you see here is a double batch of my favourite muffin recipe using one tin of the Aldi pie filling.  Wow!  Instead of $7.70 for the fruit, it only cost me $2, and when you’re counting every cent, that $5.70 is a big deal.

Better still, I only had to fire up the oven once, and could cook 2 dozen at a time.  When they cooled I clingwrapped them and put them in the freezer.  I could just take out 3 at night and they were ready for lunchboxes in the morning, and I could easily defrost/heat a couple in the microwave for afternoon tea if necessary.  Brilliant!

Do you batch cook for your freezer?  If not … why not?  Have you considered substituting a different filling for a budget beater?  I’d love to hear your muffin making stories in the comments below, or share a photo over on the Cake & Enemy Facebook page.

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12 thoughts on “Foodie Friday – Mega Muffin Batch

  1. Hi! I stumbled across your blog the other day while looking for your card template! Just wanted to let you know I tried the cookie recipe and it has the big thumbs up from my family! Did a batch of jam, 2 choc chip and 1 cornflake and sultana, AND froze some for later! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. I’m sitting here killing myself laughing because so many of your blogs seem to be so timely to my life at the moment. I have been beguiled by those tins of apple pie filling at Aldi (love the one with raspberries added!) and have a bit of a stockpile in my pantry. BTW, have you noticed that they’ve reduced the size? The ones I bought last year were bigger, 550g, but this year’s tins are 420g. Anyway…

    So, I’ve been going through all my cookbooks to find recipes that used canned fruit instead of fresh, frozen or dried. Yes, fresh fruit is sometimes cheaper but not when it comes to berries and frozen is cheaper than fresh but it’s still more than I want to pay. But all my recipes had fresh or frozen. And they would only substitute one for the other ie if you don’t have fresh, use frozen. I should mention I’m talking cakes and, in particular, muffins here. I have lots of great dessert and crumble recipes that use tinned fruit but that’s not what I was looking for.

    Now, I don’t mind experimenting (ask my children about the cookies I made that had oil in them where I substituted apple sauce for the oil and they were practically mini cakes), but sometimes I do like to check out if there are some basic principles I should be aware of to make my experiments more successful.

    So I turned to the internet. I have been looking up variations of the following search term ‘substituting tinned fruit for fresh or frozen in baking’ and not really coming up with too much that is helpful. Most people tend to say that tinned fruit is too moist, that if you were going to use it it would need to be drained and dried beforehand (duh!) and that therefore it’s just better to use fresh or frozen. It’s like they haven’t even tried to attempt using tinned.

    Ummm, I’m sorry? Nobody out there seems to be able to manage to cook with tinned fruit instead? I was really surprised to find such a dearth of information on the subject. Maybe my search terms were at fault, I don’t know, but the one site that seemed kind of useful was more interested in telling me how to substitute the sugar in my recipe by using pureed tinned fruit.

    I have some experimenting to do but I got sidetracked by your cookies and then busy with my garage. I WILL try this. Soon! I’m determined to use up some of those lovely tins of fruit sitting in my pantry.

    Would you be willing to share your muffin recipe on here? Berry choc chip sounds right up my alley and it sounds like this would be successful.

  3. I meant to answer the question about batch cooking too. Haven’t done it before but haven’t had a big enough freezer before. Now that I have an upright freezer I’m so looking forward to batch cooking and freezing stuff. But it’s not my birthday yet so I don’t technically ‘have’ the freezer yet…

  4. But, but, but… *looks around* *screws eyes up real tight just to be sure*
    I must be dense. Your link takes me back to this page but I can’t find the actual recipe anywhere. I’ve scrolled up and down and down and up and I’d scroll sideways if I could but although I see where you talk about the muffins, I still don’t see the recipe!

    Please tell me I’m not going completely mad.

      • Cool, that would be much appreciated. And I figured that I wasn’t gonna hear anything for a while as you’d said you were going away.

        I did find one recipe that was supposed to have tinned blackberries in and I used dark cherries instead, but I don’t think it really worked that well in terms of flavour. And the annoying thing is that I had blackberries in the pantry but when I read the name of the muffins (‘Black Magic’), I immediately thought of Black Forest cake and then saw ‘tinned’ in the ingredients list and pretty much didn’t actually read what the tinned item was. I just assumed it was cherries.

        What I find even more annoying is that that is very unusual for me. I’m usually a stickler for reading through the instructions on everything before I attempt anything and ingredients lists are no exception. I may choose to make alterations to the stated list, but I always (!) read it first. Except this time.

        I think the reason why the flavour didn’t work properly (since my mind was expecting a Black Forest cake experience), was that there was no kirsch or anything resembling that in the muffins. In terms of a chocolate/cherry combination, it probably worked OK but it was definitely nothing to write home about. I’m keen to try the blackberry version and see if that’s an improvement or whether it also comes across as a tiny bit bland. Maybe a touch of spice is needed?

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