It's berry season and often our eyes are bigger than our execution. We scoop up pints and quarts of gorgeous fruit and then they molder on a refrigerator shelf. So this week we resolved to keep up with our produce, not an easy thing now that our CSA has kicked in, and stay on top of things. To that end I decided to make muffins. We can eat a fair number and fortunately there are neighbors near-by happy to accept the excess. We had a quart of still beautiful raspberries sitting beside a newer one of blueberries so the decision of what flavor was easy, golden corn muffins with fresh raspberries and a hint of lemon.
We like a rustic muffin that could never be confused with a cupcake. I used masa harina corn flour because that's the finest cornmeal we had on hand. It produced a light, flavorful muffin with a slight crunch. As I was putting together the muffins I looked at my bowl of dry ingredients and the plate of washed berries and wondered about the wisdom of adding the fruit last. They always seem to clump so that the final muffins have less fruit and soft berries tend to run and break no matter whether or not I dust them with dry mix in advance. Why not add them to the dry ingredients first? So I did, tossing them lightly in the flour before pouring in the liquids. The presence of the raspberries made me very gentle in my mixing process and although they did break up a bit, they were well distributed and the juices didn't run in the batter. I'm one of those people who are usually starving when the muffins come out and eat one within five minutes or so of them landing on the counter. The berries themselves were very tart straight from the oven. The fruit this season has been particularly acidic around here and I discovered that if you let the muffins cool the berries become much more flavorful and the less abrasive. For breakfast a tasty muffin, or three, really can't be beat.
Raspberry Corn Muffins
1 cup of fine corn meal or masa harina
1 cup AP flour
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cup buttermilk at room temperature
2 eggs at room temperature
3 tablespoons melted butter
zest of a lemon or 1/2 teaspoon lemon oil
1 pint fresh, clean raspberries (or in my case a light quart)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin by lining with cupcake papers or spraying with non-stick spray.
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together. in a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, butter, and buttermilk. Stir in the lemon zest or lemon oil. Add the berries to the dry ingredients and mix gently with a rubber spatula until they are coated with flour. Pour in the buttermilk mixture all at once and fold the wet and dry ingredients together until just blended. Fill each muffin cup with 1/3 cup batter.
Bake 18-20 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch. Cool for ten minutes and remove muffins from the tins. Let cool an aditional ten minutes before eating.