16 April 2013

Oh-So Good Berry and Citrus Muffins

I would like to start by saying I have made these muffins a lot over the past 4 or so months, the most popular muffins I bake at the cafe/lounge bar I work at, and therefore one of the most tried and tested recipes on this blog! It's a good'un I promise, often requested by locals here. This recipe I found on Mel's Kitchen Cafe titled 'The Best Blueberry Muffins', for her to call it the best you know it's going to be dang good. So if you haven't tried this recipe yet give it a go, if people are willing to pay good money for them here then hopefully it's a winner!

Left over batter? Mini-muffins! :) Anything in miniature makes the world better

This is an awesome recipe for using what you have on hand. I change up what berries and citrus fruit I use daily, I love using raspberries with an orange sugar and orange juice in the batter, or blueberries with a lemon and/or lime sugar. I once used this batter with 1 cup berries and 1 cup chocolate buttons, that worked awesomely too. So mix it up and treat it as a trusty basic muffin :)

The jam swirl on top of these muffins is yummy but is definitely an optional step. I tend not to do it any more as it is the most time consuming part, plus I love having the 2 cups of berries in the muffin itself, a berry blast! Either way they rock and have become a firm favourite of mine. Just remember, do not over mix and make sure that batter is nice 'n thick!

Beautifully moist and with the perfect crumb. I admit the muffins I used for this particular photoshoot don't look the neatest but don't let that put you off! They will become a firm family favourite :)

Berry Muffins with a Lemon-Lime Sugar Topping
Adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Makes 7 jumbo muffins, 12 standard muffins

For the topping:
1/2 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon and 1 lime (N. 1)

For the muffins:
2 cups frozen berries (N. 2)
1 1/8 cups + 1tsp sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 medium eggs
4 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup oil (vegetable / canola)
1 cup buttermilk (N. 3)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the sugar topping : mix together thoroughly and set aside

Preheat the oven to 356F / 180C and grease / line muffins holes

(N.4) To make the jam topping : heat 1 cup of berries and 1 tsp of sugar in a small pan over medium heat. Mash the berries with the back of a spoon and cook until the mixture has thickened and reduced to around 1/3 cup (around 6-8 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool

For the muffins : Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add 1 cup of berries and fold through
In a separate medium bowl, whisk the eggs and 1 1/8 cups sugar until pale and thickened (around 1 minute). Add the oil, buttermilk, vanilla and cooled melted butter. Whisk together until evenly mixed
Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and fold together using a rubber spatula until JUST combined. A few small patches of flour are very good, do not over mix. The batter should be very thick, even lumpy (key to good muffins!) I almost always fold in some more flour at this step until I'm happy the batter is thick enough
Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin holes each 3/4 or more full.
Spoon a teaspoon of the berry jam on each and swirl through with a toothpick using a figure of 8 motion.
Sprinkle the citrus sugar evenly over each muffin
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack
Enjoy! :)

(1) I mix it up to accommodate whatever citrus fruit is most available in the restaurant. I often do Raspberry & Orange Muffins (using the zest of the orange on top and the juice I add to the milk)
(2) I have made it with blueberries, raspberries and often a combo of both :) I also think fresh would work just fine
(3) I have never-ever bought buttermilk. To make your own mix milk with some lemon or vinegar and let it sit for a bit. For this recipe one of the first things I do is measure out just under 1 cup of whole milk into a small bowl and add the juice of whatever citrus fruit Im using. If I am using an orange I will add some lemon juice to 'curdle' the milk properly. If it looks horrendously lumpy thats a good thing!
(4) These days, although the jam topping is awesome, I never normally bother with this step. I skip this and just add the generous 2 cups of berries straight into the flour mixture

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