Saturday, October 13, 2007

Blackberry Muffins

Blackberry Muffin
After diligently picking blackberries every other day during last few weeks of summer, there's a huge bag of berries in the freezer just waiting to be used. So I made some blackberry muffins (and barely made a dent in the bag of berries). Being a constant recipe fiddler, what I love most about muffins is their flexibility and the endless number of flavor combinations; you can put whatever you want in them (fruit, nuts, spices, chocolate) or on them (streusel, flavored sugar, glazes, etc). I'm a big fan of quick breads like muffins and coffee cake with baked with sour cream or buttermilk instead of regular milk. The goods baked with sour cream and or buttermilk have a subtle, delicious tang and are more tender and moist than the ones baked with milk. When baking muffins, I always use sour cream or buttermilk and also use less sugar and butter because, as much as I love sugary, buttery breakfast goods like gooey sticky buns, I prefer my muffins a little on the lighter side.

For the raspberry muffins with hazelnut brown sugar streusel, I adapted from a Cook's Illustrated recipe and 1 1/4 cups of sour cream and 2 tablespoons of butter. Since I used regular, not low fat, sour cream, I bet I could have gotten away with skipping the butter all together. The problem with this batter is that it was very, very thick, almost too hard to mix.

Second time around, I used 1 1/4 cups buttermilk instead of sour cream for my almond poppyseed muffins. I also upped the butter to 4 tablespoons since buttermilk has much less fat than sour cream. While the batter was more manageable, it was also a little too lean. For a completely buttermilk batter, I would need 6 tablespoons or one stick of butter.

Third time's the charm and this one was just right. I averaged the two recipes, using sour cream for the richness and body and buttermilk to thin out the batter making it easier to mix, and half a stick of butter for additional flavor and richness. I also used brown sugar to make them moister and replaced 1/2 C of all purpose flour with 1/2 cup of whole wheat for even healthier muffins (shh... Steven didn't even notice). I think I am happy with this recipe, for now... :)

- Blackberries are easiest to mix in if they're frozen; fresh blackberries are too delicate and mixing the batter will break them apart. If you have fresh berries freeze them in one layer on a tray until they are solid before mixing them into the batter.
- You can use plain yogurt instead of sour cream or clabbered milk instead of buttermilk (add 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 cup of milk and let it sit at room temperature until thickened or slightly curdled, about 15 minutes).
- If you don't have sour cream and only have buttermilk, use 1 1/4 C of buttermilk and 6 - 8 tablespoons of butter.
- If you don't have buttermilk and only have sour cream, use 3/4 C of sour cream and thin it with 1/2 C of milk.

Blackberry Muffins

2 C AP flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C sour cream
3/4 C buttermilk
4 Tbsp melted butter, cooled
1 1/4 C blackberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray or use paper liners.

Rinse the frozen berries and let them drain in a sieve.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt to evenly distribute. In another bowl, beat the egg, then whisk in the sugar, and sour cream. Whisk until the mixture is throughly combined then add in the buttermilk and melted butter.

Scatter the blackberries in the dry ingredients and then add the wet ingredients. Gently fold to combine, there should not be large pockets of flour but streaks of flour are okay. Do not overmix the batter.

Divide the batter into your muffin tin with a large spoon or ice cream scoop and bake until a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean, about 20 - 25 minutes. Remove them from the pan and cool on a rack.

More Recipes:
Hidden berry cheesecake inspired by Dorie
Almond poppyseed muffins
Raspberry muffins with hazelnut brown sugar streusel
Sticky buns 2.0
Sticky buns


Bettina said...

yay more muffin recipes! YUM! i love muffins! the raspberry hazelnut one is still my favorite!

Peabody said...

I wish I had frozen some. We didn't get enough to even come close!
Those look really good.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Just think what a treat it will be to have blackberry muffins in the middle of winter! Wish I'd planned ahead -- I have a neighbor with the largest blackberry patch, and I didn't harvest this year. Oh well....

Wandering Chopsticks said...

You're making me sooo jealous. I was still salivating from your last blackberry recipe.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Amy, these muffins have my name written all over them - they look so delicious!
Mind if I grab one? :)

Anonymous said...

Those look absolutely perfect.

test it comm said...

Those look and sound great! Bookmarked

Anita said...

Wish I lived where you could pick blackberries all summer...whenever we bought some here my boyfriend ate them up before I could bake with them! Maybe these muffins will change his mind!

Christina Kim said...

I LOVE Berries!!Hehe...more more...strawberries,raspberries,blueberries,blackberries,cranberries...there I go, berry mode again..hehe:D
Nice blog btw!!

Amy said...

Yeah that raspberry one was pretty darn good. Muffins are somewhat of a weekly tradition now. :)

Thank you!

I cherish that bag of berries in my freezer, it's like a little bag of summer! :)

Aww <3!

You're so sweet, here's one just for you. :)

Aw thank you!

Thanks! Hope you like the recipe!

My boyfriend really dislikes raspberries and blackberries because of the seeds, but that means more for me! hehehe

Thank you! I love berries too! I have a few strawberries and raspberries in the freezer too. They make me happy. :)

Deborah said...

I'm planning on starting blackberries in my yard next year. My aunt and uncle have been growing them for as long as I can remember, and if I visit at the right time of year, they know I'll be stading in the bushes eating til I burst.
These look wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Blackberry muffins...what a delicious idea! I love blackberries...why had I never thought of this?

elasticwaistbandlady said...

Okay, I'm taking a leap of faith here.......I'm going to try this recipe with the hard-won hand-picked blackberries we scored a couple weeks ago. If all goes well I'll put it on my recipe blog and of course give you all the credit and the glory! :)

Heidi said...

This is the recipe that lead me to your blog! I made it and it was awesome. Love anything with berries in it! Thanks for posting. I read your blog quite often now and I enjoy the variety of recipes you have although I mostly love the baked goods. Please take a moment to check out my new baking blog. It's new so there is not too much on there but check it out.

Seattle, WA

Zainab said...

nice one...well i hve got mangoes and chocolate drops...will try this out n post it on my blog..lets see how this combo works!!..regards...

Heather said...

These look amazing. I'm going to round up some blackberries and give them a try. Thanks for sharing.
I'm having a link party featuring muffins that can be made from food storage I would love it if you would link up.

Michelle said...

I just made these (only changed out 1/2 c. of the AP flour for 1/2 c. of whole wheat) & even though I used fresh berries (because I was too impatient to freeze), they are the best muffins I have ever made!

I used 3/4 c of yogurt/sour cream & 1/2 c. milk. I didn't get all the sour cream blobs out and they were still amazing!

Thanks for this great recipe :)


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