Infinite Zest

Sunday, June 24, 2012
If you're a regular reader, you'll know I love fruit in my baking.  I’ve made these simple muffins many times, and they’re always great.  The first time I made them, I used blackberries, and it’s now my favourite recipe that uses blackberries.  But I’ve made them many times since with raspberries – fresh or frozen, depending on the time of year. 

It’s a simple recipe, and it’s the lemon that makes them special.  Just the zest of half a lemon each in the topping and muffin enhances the berry and makes the muffins unforgettable.  This is the kind of comfort food I love best.

Do you ever wonder what I do with all the food I bake?  Baking is a passion for me, and it’s easy to end up with much more than our family needs.  I’ve made these muffins for several friends lately who are going through difficult times.  I can’t always lessen their pain, but I can show them a physical manifestation of my caring by taking them food.  And hopefully at the same time, I’m honouring their request to listen to their pain, whether or not it is spoken.

“The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.”
- David Foster Wallace

Raspberry (or Blackberry) Muffins

Topping

1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
zest of one half lemon
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup pecans, finely chopped

Muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
grated zest of one half lemon
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg, beaten
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries, or 1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners or use a silicon tray.

To make the topping, stir together the sugar, flour and zest in a small bowl.  Stir in the melted butter then add the pecans and stir to combine.  Set aside.

To make the muffins, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, zest and salt.  Make a well in the centre and add the egg, melted butter and buttermilk.  Stir just until evenly moistened.  The batter will be slightly lumpy.  Sprinkle with the berries and gently fold in just until evenly distributed,.  Take care not to break up the fruit.  Do not overmix.

Spoon the batter into each muffin cup, filling it to a bit above the rim of the cup.  Top each muffin with the topping, dividing it evenly.

Bake 25 – 30 minutes.  A toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin should come out clean.  Let the muffins cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tray.

33 comments:

Valerie said...

Beautiful quote, scrumptious muffins. (Isn't it wonderful to have a go-to recipe that never lets you down?) :-)

Belinda said...

I'm a sucker for blackberries!! This is one of my favorite times of year b/c they are perfect right now. Love the zest to brighten these up.

Lizzy said...

Mmmm...these sound amazing! And the buttermilk must make these extra moist and tender. I do the same thing with my extra baked goods...I always have a stash of something in the freezer for friends in need~

artofnaturalliving.com said...

I bought a microplane this year and it has really helped me use lemon zest more--so much easier to keep out the bitter pith. Your muffins look delicious--love blackberries and raspberries.

Julie said...

Those look melt in your mouth delicious. I just bought some raspberries! Have a great week.

Pacheco Patty said...

I have that muffin book! I'm going to try this recipe, I love to bake with berries this time of year;-)

jhl said...

What a kind friend you are! I love baking for others, too. Monet just wrote a post about this over at Anecdotes and Apple Cores.

Thank you for the gift of you!

glutenfreehappytummy.com said...

i love fruit in baking too! it makes it so moist! these look delicious!

Medeia Sharif said...

I used to dislike fruit in baked goods, but I came to appreciate them. These look scrumptious.

Ellen B Cookery said...

My mother-in-law also loved to bake with a lot of fruit, particularly plums. Perhaps an influence from the 10 years she lived in Poland as an adult. I think that's so kind of you to bring comforting baked goods to your friends. I hope everything works out for them.

Claire Davis said...

I made muffins this weekend, too. A great on the go breakfast! We have lots of blackberry bushes around our house so I will have to try these with blackberries. I think a home baked good is the best kind of heartfelt sympathy and can cheer anyone up.

Kitchen Riffs said...

It always amazes me how much flavor a little bit of lemon zest adds. And lemon is one of my favorite flavors, so I like to use it often. Thanks goodness for microplanes - makes zesting easy. Good recipe, really nice quote - thanks.

Kathy said...

Just in time for my blackberry crop…will definitely try these. Love the addition of the lemon zest! They look scrumptious! Lovely quote!

C&C Cakery said...

Fruit in muffins is a must - Fruit muffins for those you love and care about are even better :)

Jenn Kendall said...

those look like some truly delicious muffins - yum!

cookingmisadventures.com said...

So thoughtful, Beth! These would certainly brighten up my day.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Yum! I love muffins packed with fruit. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Those look yummy! I love fruit muffins too :)

profiterolesandponytails said...

I love the crumbly topping on these muffins Beth. They definitely look like comfort food. Baking for your friends is a great way to show that you care -- and people are always so pleased to receive homemade goodies. Thinking of your friends...

yummychunklet said...

This definitely looks like tasty baked fruit. Yum!

Guru Uru said...

Your muffins look so to die for it is not even funny :D
A beautiful breakfast recipe for wonderful people!

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Jess said...

These sound delicious! It's amazing what a little lemon zest will do to bring out flavor :) I think it's so nice that you bake for friends~ I have a friend who randomly sends me hilarious cards if we've had a phone conversation and I've mentioned a challence going on in my life. Cheers me up and makes me feel loved every time. I would love to bake for them, but unfortunately most of my girlfriends really watch what they eat (especially yummy carbs). I am so thankful not to be on a diet (other than eat as much spinach from the garden as possible). I suppose I could just make these for my own family...we've got frozen blueberries right now--maybe I'll try a substitution!

Cindy said...

These look delicious. I have blueberries in the fridge--will they work??

Raina said...

These sound wonderful, something I would love for sure. That is really thoughtful of you to bring these to friends. I am sure you made their days much brighter and tastier:)

Cucina49 said...

Beth, these look so good with their streusel topping. Do you think they would work with cranberries? I've been looking for a good base muffin to use with those.

Food Gal said...

Mmm, I wish these were baking in my oven right now. I bet they are so moist from all those lovely berries, too.

Dara Reppucci said...

Yummy! I love the topping. I adore muffins in the morning.

Joanne said...

I am always gifting baked goods as well and though they can't move mountains, they do make people happy. ANd that's all that matters. It's amazing how important a touch of lemon can be! These look delicious.

Katerina said...

Lemon is a powerful ingredient Beth! I love the fragrance of it in cakes, muffins or cookies! They look delicious!

MTeacress said...

Your family and friends are lucky to have you. :)

I wonder if orange zest would be good too.

lisa is cooking said...

Your friends must love these. I can never resist a crumb topping, and the berries in them sound great!

grace said...

if i had my way, all muffins would have a streusel topping--that stuff is delicious! great recipe, beth--you're a good friend!

sweetandcrumby.com said...

The muffins sound amazing but most of all you sound like such a supportive and amazing friend. I love the quote at the end of the post. Beautiful.---Geni

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