Sunday, May 13, 2012

Black&Blueberry Muffins

Sometimes I look around my refrigerator and it is excessive how many cartons of berries I find.  Does one person really need two cartons of blueberries, two cartons of blackberries, and a carton of strawberries to boot?
No, of course not, but when it is finally spring and the berries are gorgeous and tasty, I feel the need to horde them.  Which, of course, is absurd.

On the upside, it leads me to all sorts of new ways to use them, like these yogurt-based berry muffins.

The muffin itself is not too sweet (in fact, next time I might add some decorators sugar to the top), and the crumb is not fluffy like cake, and not dense like bread, but somewhere nicely in between.  The lemon zest also adds a nice brightness.

All in all, at least one way out of an excessive berry crisis.

As ever, these muffins are so easy to make.  Begin by rubbing the lemon zest into the sugar, and then whisking the sugar with the other dry ingredients.  Now,

toss the berries with a tablespoon of those dry ingredients, to keep them from sinking to the bottom.

Time for the wet ingredients, including good yogurt.
Whisk them together in a big measuring cup.
Make a well and add them to your dry ingredients, mixing until not quite incorporated.
Then toss in the berries, and mix gently until everything is just incorporated.

Ice-cream scoop them into the muffin tins.

Bake until the berries are oozing and you can't stand how delicious the air smells.

Let them cool in the tin for about five minutes.

Then remove to a wire rack, and enjoy the benefits of making the most (and then some) of spring!

Black & Blue Berry Muffins (adapted from joyofbaking)
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries and/or blackberries (and/or raspberries) [don't defrost if frozen]
1 cup plain yogurt (regular or low fat [I would go for regular])
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup saffron, canola, or corn oil [I would go for saffron]
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
decorator's sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Butter or line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, rub the lemon zest into the sugar with your fingertips, until moist and fragrant.  Whisk the lemon-sugar together with the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Remove 1 tablespoon of the dry ingredients and toss them with the berries.

In a measuring cup, whisk together the yogurt, egg, oil, and vanilla extract.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and add the wet ingredients.  With a rubber spatula, mix until almost combined.  Gently stir in the berries, until the ingredients are just combined.

Using an ice-cream scoop (or spoon), fill the muffin cups with the batter.  Sprinkle each with some decorator's sugar [optional].  Place in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about five  minutes, before removing from pan.