Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fruity Muffins

So I found a contender to pit against our go-to recipe for blueberry or huckleberry muffins. I had some cherries that were a little past their prime for eating out of hand, but there weren't enough for cherry clafoutis. It was breakfast-for-dinner Friday and I wanted something just a little sweet to go with our eggs. I thought that a cherry muffin might be nice. A quick Internet search yielded this cherry vanilla muffin recipe that looked promising.

Of course, I wouldn't be the cook I am if I followed the recipe exactly as written! I'm sure it is great that way, but I catered to my own tastes in a few ways. I lessened the vanilla to one teaspoon instead of a tablespoon--I thought it would overpower otherwise. Then I omitted the lemon juice and zest out of laziness and a feeling that it wouldn't be necesary. My friend Stacey subbed orange for lemon. I used crumble topping instead of granola as that's what I had in my freezer. I also quartered rather than halved the cherries to give a higher cherry-per-bite ratio. Finally, I thought that the flavor would be improved by increasing the yogurt and decreasing the oil. This worked beautifully.

I often find that cherry desserts are low on cherry flavor even if they're packed with cherries. Certainly my attempts at cherry smoothies were a flop. Clafoutis is the most successful and these muffins are a distant second for cherry flavor. However, they are at the top of the heap for tenderness. The crumb is so silky soft. I'm sure the cherries contribute to that and the fact that I used full-fat dairy products. But this muffin base is likely to be fantastic with any number of fruits--strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and more.

INGREDIENTS for 1 doz muffins
1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c. evaporated cane juice sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 c. plain yogurt
1/4 c. vegetable oil though next time I will try melted coconut oil because I bet it would be delicious
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c. fruit, cut into bite-sized pieces if necessary
1/2 c. granola or crumble topping

DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a 12-cup muffin tin by lining or spraying with oil
  2. Combine dry ingredients except crumble/granola in a medium bowl or large measuring cup
  3. Combine wet ingredients except fruit in a large bowl, whisking to blend
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until just moistened
  5. Fold in fruit then divide batter among 12 muffin cups
  6. Sprinkle crumble/granola equally over the muffins
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden

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