I seem to have a bit of a blackberry picking addiction at the moment. Finding excuses to go foraging on a daily basis. Trips down the lane with the toddler on her trike or in the sling telling me she either wants to get down, wants to get out of the trike or get up are held off with a “just a minute darling I just need to get this one last one”.
So one of the recipes I’ve tried in the last week is a version of the blueberry muffin recipe I borrowed and adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Ottolenghi cookbook. Just replacing blueberries with blackberries worked well. You need to use quite firm blackberries so that they will be less likely to burst in the baking process.
It’s possible to make these with gluten free wheat flour and gluten free flour which both work well. I’ve also recently made them with spelt flour (lower in gluten than usual wheat flour) which was a little heavier – though the muffins were still as popular. I used Koko coconut milk when I made them today and you could use vegan spread instead of butter to make them dairy free. And I have heard you can use milled chia seeds or flaxseeds as an egg alternative
100g Blackberries (plus enough to put a few on the top of each muffin)
210g Plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 medium egg
150ml milk or coconut drinking milk
Half an apple (eat the other half!)
Grated zest of half a lemon
110g caster sugar
For the crumble mixture
I make this up and keep some frozen*. For this recipe you need about a dessert spoon of mixture per muffin.
300g spelt flour (or plain white if you don’t have spelt)
100g caster sugar
200g cold unsalted butter cut into cubes.
… Make your crumble
- First, make the crumble mixture by putting all the ingredients into a bowl and rubbing them through your fingers to make the crumble mixture.
- (If you have a food processor, just put all the ingredients in and give them a whizz until they resemble breadcrumbs.)
- Give the bowl a little shake and the bigger lumps will come to the top, rub these through so that you have a consistent crumble mixture.
- The crumble mixture keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days but you might as well freeze what you don’t use as it takes very little time to defrost and will keep in the freezer for months.
…Make your muffins
- Pre-heat your oven to 170˚C / gas mark 3 / 325˚F.
- Line your muffin tray with cases.
- Sift the flour and baking powder and put to one side.
- Whisk lightly the egg, add the sugar and melted butter (making sure its not too hot) and keep whisking lightly.
- Whisk in the lemon zest and milk to the wet mixture.
- Add the blackberries and grated apple to the liquid mixture.
- Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir in, not too much – just enough to combine – allowing there to be lumps.
- Spoon the mixture into the cases, sprinkle a dessert spoon of crumble mixture on top with a few blueberries
- Bake for 30-35 minutes.
- You can check whether the muffins are cooked through with a skewer – if it comes out wet then they need a few minutes longer, if it comes out with no mixture on it then they are ready.
I have slightly adjusted this recipe to suit younger children – by reducing the sugar content and portion size. So each cake has a teaspoon of added sugar, the rest of the sugar content (about 5g) is from the fruit. Fat and saturated fat content are low in these cakes too). Each cake provides about 170 calories which is just over 10% of the recommended calorie intake for a child aged between 4-6 years of age. Each muffin contains about 10% recommended calcium intake, just under 10% recommended iron intake and about 20% recommended Vitamin A intake for a child in this age group.
*Having frozen crumble mixture in the freezer is a great fall back for midweek or Sunday lunch fruit crumbles as it takes very little time to defrost.