23 November 2012

summer lovin'

Summer - berries, bacon and egg pie, fresh salsa and BBQ.  Plus asparagus, salads, lots of herbs and a whole raft of other gastronomic treats.  I love summer - there's so much colour and variety in food.  We're pretty lucky these days, as you can still access most foods in the deep, dark depths of winter, but they're often imported, hideously expensive and, frankly, pretty tasteless.  Nothing can compare to the summer foods we grow in our gardens or  pick up from the berry farm down the road. 
I had a virtually full carton of buttermilk in the fridge, left over from making an apple cobbler, so decided to make some muffins using a hoard of boysenberries I'd acquired.  Buttermilk is fantastic for baking (muffins, pancakes, scones etc) as it seems to make the end result just that much lighter.  We like to have some muffins or biscuits in the cupboard, for lunches, so this was a good way to use up the rest of the carton (you can also make a buttermilk substitute, by mixing lemon juice into normal milk and basically curdling it). 
Any berries will do for this, and throw in other bits and pieces as you have them - chocolate chips, almonds, pistachios...
2 cups berries
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil  
1 egg
zest of 2 lemons
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 and 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius and grease 12 muffin tins (or line with cupcake cases). 
  2. Mix egg, buttermilk, oil and zest together in large bowl, whisking to combine. 
  3. Add dry ingredients and fold to combine - don't overmix, as this can result in tough muffins. 
  4. Fold through berries. 
  5. Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes, or until inserted skewer comes out clean. 
  6. Leave in tins for 5 minutes before removing onto wire rack to cool. 

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