Sunday, January 6, 2013

Fabulous Fruit Muffins

Streusel Topping Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup brown or white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Muffin Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed firm
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon minced citrus zest from 1 lime, lemon, or orange (or use lemon peel)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups fruit, lightly packed

To simplify muffin making, quadruple the streusel topping recipe and freeze. Orange, lemon, or lime zest can be used to flavor the muffins, if you like. Lemon works well with blueberry; orange zest with cranberry or rhubarb; lime zest with banana chunks.

Almost any fruit works in this recipe. Good choices include: fresh or frozen rhubarb, diced; cranberries, coarsely chopped; blueberries; apples, cut into small dice; bananas, cut into firm, small chunks; raspberries; strawberries, quartered or cut into small dice; dried sour cherries or cranberries. To prevent delicate, highly colored fruits like raspberries, cranberries, and blueberries from getting mashed and discoloring the batter, use semi-frozen fruit.

Topping Instructions

  1. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl or work bowl or a food processor; add butter
  2. If mixing by hand, use fingertips, a pastry blender, or 2 forks to blend butter into dry ingredients until mixture looks like coarse irregular crumbs, with no visible lumps
  3. If using a processor, pulse 10 times, then processor 5-10 seconds, until there are no visible lumps. Stir in nuts and set aside.

Muffin Instructions

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Lightly grease the top surface of a 12-cup muffin pan
  3. Whisk 2 1/2 cups flour with baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside
  4. Whisk together brown sugar, oil, citrus zest, and egg in a large bowl; whisk in buttermilk and vanilla.
  5. Gently whisk dry ingredients into wet to partially blend.
  6. Continue mixing batter with a rubber spatula, fold in fruit. If batter still seems wet, add up to 1/4 cup flour to stiffen.
  7. Using an ice cream scoop, place a portion of batter into each muffin cup, filling to the brim
  8. Sprinkle a portion of streusel topping over batter in each muffin cup.
  9. Bake 15 minutes at preheated 400 degrees; reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake until muffins are golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed, 10-12 min
  10. Let muffins cool in pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack

Yield: 12 muffins

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