My Motto

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

Wineberry Muffins

“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.

Wineberry Muffins
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 egg
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.


KDoucette said...

OMG Marg, you have done it to me again, bad has brought tears to my eyes as I have fond memories of stopping by the roadside going to my house in QH and picking them with my Mom and also when I was little in NL and I had my own "picking" bowl she let me use to help. And you're sure making me miss those times and CT altogether, plus my little berry patch I had at my house, strawberries, blueberries and wineberries, as well as wild blackberries too. I miss jamming so much like that. I bet those muffins are dope and bet they would make awesome jam if you mixed them with blackberries for sweetness to make a mixed berry jam, hmmm, yummmm! Girl, you have got it together here and you need to be the next "julie/julia" project and go solo and get noticed or go on Master Chef or Hell's kitchen, you'd win and be rich rich rich! Love you and miss you, thanks for this recipe, I will make it with what we have here in memory of my mom and enjoy them! Are they moist inside? Just curious about texture, I like a moist muffin, not dry, love D and D muffins and hate hate the ones at Starsucks, too dry and Seattle's best makes you gag gag gag. LOL!! Let me know hun.

Kris xoxo aloha and mahalo. This is ONO grinds...hawaiian for good food.

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Kris: I'm so glad the post brought back some good memories for you. You're comment made me laugh. You are funny! Yes, the muffins are very moist..they are literally our favorites and I make them every other day while the wineberries are in season. Mixing them with raspberries for blackberries in jam is worth a try. it would add a nice tartness. The berries are so delicate I'm sure they would disintegrate, but who long as it tastes good!! Love ya Kris! Come stateside SOON! xoxo