Cure the sweet-tooth craving with these delicious camp oven muffins...
Preparation time: 15mins
Cooking time: 25-45 mins, depending on heat of coals
4 tbsp butter melted
1 cup caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries (frozen work well, too)
2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
Fresh cream, to serve
• Start a fire and have some coals ready.
• Reheat camp oven so it’s hot when you add the muffin mix.
• You need a small camp oven - or use a cake pan, ovenproof dish or highsided enamel dish that fits inside your camp oven. (If you use a large camp oven or baking dish you’ll have a pancake, not a muffin!)
• Line your camp oven (or baking dish) with baking paper all the way up the sides of the oven, to prevent the sides from burning.
• Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.
• In a separate bowl, sprinkle the blueberries with about 1 tbsp of plain flour and mix gently to coat and set aside. This will stop the berries sinking to the bottom of the batter.
• In another large basin, mix the butter and sugar together until it has turned slightly creamy.
• Add the egg and milk then stir until everything is well combined.
• Add the sifted flour, baking powder and salt to the wet ingredient mix.
Gently fold and mix until it all comes together. Don’t over-mix or you’ll have a heavy muffin. Treat it like scone dough.
• Add the floured berries and fold them through gently so they are evenly spread throughout the batter.
• Spoon this batter into your prepared camp oven or baking dish.
• If using a baking dish, place it on a trivet inside the camp oven.
• Put the lid on the camp oven and then place the oven on a bed of coals over a medium heat for about 25-30 minutes. Add some coals on the lid.
Cooking time will depend on the heat generated from the coals. When baking this muffin I had to replace the coals three times before the muffin was properly cooked.
The muffin turned out great; in fact, I’d say the slower cooking worked well. And while the sides of the camp oven looked burnt, the muffin, while well-browned on the outside, wasn’t burnt.
If you cook it too fast, all you’ll get is a burnt muffin on the outside and uncooked batter on the inside. Interestingly, taking the lid off a few times to check didn’t seem to affect how the muffin cooked – it still rose nicely, with a good texture.
The muffin is ready when the top is firm to touch and it’s cooked through – find out by inserting a skewer or knife in the middle – if it comes out clean, it’s cooked.
When cooked, remove from the camp oven (or baking dish) and let the muffin cool a little before serving with a dollop of cream. It was still good the next day for morning tea.
Don’t use canned blueberries, as they are way too moist. The original recipe – which I came across while in South Africa – said to mix the muffin in a potjie (camp oven). But having baked it, I think it would be much better to make as I have here.