Buttermilk Berry Muffins:
2 1/2 cups (325 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of one orange or lemon
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
1/2 cup (120 ml) safflower or canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 to 2 cups (360-480 ml) fresh or frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries)
Buttermilk Berry Muffins: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Position rack in center of oven. Butter or spray with a non stick cooking spray 12 - 2 3/4 x 1 1/2 inch muffin cups. Set aside.
In a large measuring cup or bowl whisk together the egg, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract.
In another large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest. Gently fold in the berries. With a rubber spatula fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are combined. Do not over mix the batter or tough muffins will result.
Fill each muffin cup almost full of batter, using two spoons or an ice cream scoop. Place in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 5 minutes before removing from pan. Dust with powdered sugar.
Makes 12 regular sized muffins or 6 jumbo muffins.
Note: If using frozen berries you may have to bake the muffins a little longer than the stated time. Also, if making jumbo sized muffins, again, you may have to bake the muffins a little longer.
These Buttermilk Berry Muffins have a beautiful golden brown crust and are absolutely bursting with flavorful berries. No need to worry if fresh berries are out of season as these are just as good with frozen berries. To add a nice touch of citrus flavor, the zest of a orange is added and while I have used a Clementine, Navel, or any other type of orange you like would be excellent. To make these Buttermilk Berry Muffins wonderfully moist and tender we are using buttermilk and safflower oil instead of the usual milk and butter. Muffins fall into the "quick" bread category and you can see why when you make this recipe. All you need are two bowls; one for the wet ingredients, and one for the dry. Combine the two and your batter is made. Of course, just because they are simple to make doesn't mean they can't be packed with flavor.
If you use frozen berries, instead of fresh, just be sure not to defrost the berries first as this will cause them to soften and bleed into the batter. As I mentioned above we are using oil in this recipe instead of butter which makes the muffins wonderfully moist and tender because oil prevents the development of gluten in the flour. I prefer the flavor of safflower oil but you can also use canola oil if that is what you have in your pantry. If you are not familiar with buttermilk it has a nice thick creamy texture with a rich tangy buttery taste that makes baked goods tender. Whereas in the past buttermilk was made from the liquid left over after churning butter, it is now commercially made by adding a bacteria to whole, skim, or low fat milk. You can make your own buttermilk though by adding 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar, cider vinegar, or lemon juice to 1 cup (240 ml) of milk. Just stir the vinegar into the milk and then let it stand 5 to 10 minutes before using.
These Buttermilk Berry Muffins are delicious warm from the oven or at room temperature.