May the muffin rise to greet you, may your friends be always at your door, and until we meet again, warm a single-malt in the palm of your hand and make something homemade for someone you love.
Friday, July 22, 2011
“Well, I can't eat muffins in an agitated manner. The butter would probably get on my cuffs. One should always eat muffins quite calmly. It is the only way to eat them.”
~Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
One of my favorite things about summer is the two week period I can walk outside and pick piles of wineberries.
These little beauties are a distant Asian cousin of the raspberry and you can find them all over the Northeast, on the edges of stone walls, meadows, roadsides and basically turning up randomly in weedy places. They popped up on the edge of our property a couple of years ago (jackpot!). The berries are in general smaller, shinier and a bit tarter than raspberries, like a cross between a currant and a raspberry. On the cane, they are hidden in fuzzy little pods that pop open to reveal a golden berry that will ripen to crimson in a few days.
They are very delicate and as far as I know, not available commercially. Since they only last a couple days before spoilage sets in, you should store them in the refrigerator and use them up quickly. This recipe is almost the same as the blueberry one I use, but I loosened the batter up, so the berries wouldn't be crushed when they're stirred in, and use buttermilk and some lemon zest because the tang and fragrance compliment the berries in these addictive muffins. Next time you're in New England towards the end of July, keep your eyes open as you travel around rural areas. If you're lucky, a glimpse of red will catch your eye and you'll soon have handfuls of these little-known jewels of the weeds. I should add that these are our absolute favorite muffins! The moist and perfectly sweet crumb makes a great vehicle for the tart berries.
makes 6 jumbo muffins
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup fresh wineberries
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin cups with butter or line them with jumbo sized muffin liners. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl whisk together the oil, egg, buttermilk and lemon zest. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stir briefly. Add wineberries before dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Gently finish stirring until JUST mixed. Divide batter between the 6 Texas-size muffin cups. Make topping:
Topping For Muffins
3 tablespoons COLD butter
1/2 cup flour
3 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
Cut butter into a small bowl. Add flour and sugar and then smash it all together with your fingers until the butter is worked in well, and is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture over the batter in the 6 muffin cups, dividing evenly and using all of it.
Bake muffins on middle rack of oven for 20 minutes. They are done if you touch the top and it springs back. Watch closely so you don't overbake them.
I've loved to cook since I was a child and have collected recipes and cookbooks for as long as I can remember. I appreciate good food, good company and a good laugh and I'd like to share all three with you.