Thursday, June 24, 2010

Banana Blackberry Muffins

There is something about fruit being available only in season that suddenly elevates berries to the upper reaches of culinary bliss. Raspberries are good for two weeks in August, blueberries for one week in September, strawberries for three weeks in May. The rest of the time, the rest of the fruit. Sure, I like it when shiny green pears are in season and when limes stop costing as much as an entire Chipotle burrito, but when it comes down to it, berries are my favorite.

So you can imagine I was pretty excited when I saw frozen blackberries at Carrefour, the new French grocery store in town. Berries?! But I didn't freeze any last summer! What a gift!

I suppose I will lose some of these thrills next week when I return to the U.S., and every single fruit is once again available at all times, in or out of season. But I hope to retain a bit of my wonder and enjoyment for all things berry. I have a feeling that now that I know what goes with what season, I'll always at least be influenced in my choices by an actual knowledge of the fields and orchards.

Anyway, all this is leading up to one delicious recipe. I didn't want to waste all my blackberries at once on a cobbler or a pie, so I've been spreading them out over many, many muffins. Today, the combo is worthy of the blog. Banana + Blackberry = Just about Right.

Banana Blackberry Muffins
adapted from the most delicious banana bread recipe from my Grandma Helen

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 TBSP milk + 1 tsp baking soda (combined)
2 eggs
2 squishy brown bananas
1 cup (or more) blackberries, thawed and drained

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. Cream the butter and the sugar in one bowl. Mash the bananas in another.
3. Stir the eggs into the butter and sugar, then add the milk/baking soda and baking powder. Stir in the bananas.
4. Stir in the flour until just combined. Add the blackberries. It's OK if the batter is streaked with purple. Personally, I think they look prettier that way.
5. Spoon into muffin cups until they are all the way full. This will give them nice domes on top.
6. Bake for about 22 minutes, rotating halfway, until golden brown on top and a fork inserted into the center comes out clean.
7. Cool in pan, then store in a tupperware. You may freeze these if you wish.

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