Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday Morning Muffins

It has been cold in Seattle. So cold, in fact, that I cannot bring myself to go outside today. Instead I have decided to manufacture some warmth in the form of fresh baked goods and hot french press. If you're feeling the sting of the morning frost like I am, whip yourself up a batch of these yummy fresh fruit muffins and put on the kettle. This recipe comes from one of my most cherished baking guides, Bakewise by Shirley O. Corriher.

What makes this muffin recipe so lovely is the fluffy whip cream that gets folded into the batter. We have a surplus of blueberries in our house at the moment, so we made the blueberry and cream cheese variety. Feel free to substitute any fruit that suits your fancy or refrigerator.

Makes 12

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups room temperature fruit (we used blueberries)
1/2 cup sweetened cream cheese  (optional)

To begin you will want to preheat your oven to 425 degrees and place a baking stone on a shelf in the lower third of the oven.  At this point it would also be smart to put a bowl in the freezer (this will be used later).

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar for a full 30 seconds.

In medium bowl, beat the egg with a few strokes, then beat in the oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and lemon zest.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and  pour in wet ingredients. Beat together. This batter will be tender, so do not hesitate to stir vigorously. Set aside.

Remove your bowl from the freezer and whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Stir one quarter of the whip cream into your batter. Then, fold in the remaining whip cream. Lastly, fold in your fruit.

Make sure that you have either sprayed your muffin tin or have lined it with baking cups. If using cream cheese (like we did), fill the cups 3/4 of the way full. Spoon in a tablespoon of sweetened cream cheese before topping the muffins off with the remaining 1/4 of batter (you can fill your cups quite full, as this batter is light). Place your pan on the oven stone and cook until well risen and brown, about 20 minutes. I find that I also have to rotate mine midway through to ensure even baking. Let cool before eating.