Friday, 27 June 2008

Frozen Fruit Muffins - The Eco-Muffin!

I have a bit of a confession to make. I have a passion for blueberry muffins. Not those over-blown fairy cakes with added horrid, blue bits you find on supermarket shelves, but the proper homemade variety; warm from the oven, studded with bursting blue fruits. Heavenly! We all like them...they're a good on-the-run breakfast for the DH and a good after school treat for the kids! However, although I grow my own blueberries, they are not yet fully ripe, and I find myself buying them from the supermarket. "No big deal," I hear you say, but for a person of my convictions supermarket blueberries are a bit of a no-no. In the UK, they are often imported from as far aways as Chili and America...later on in the season they are flown in from Poland or Spain. A pretty "high carbon" purchase, high cost too...I often pay £2 or so for purse says "ouch!"

However, flicking through one of my favourite books, Muffins, Fast and Fantastic, by Susan Reimer, I found a recipe which uses the frozen English summer fruits you find in bags from the supermarket. Now, my local "pick-you-own" freezes their extra fruit at the end of the season and sells it, quite cheaply, in their farm shop. Also, you can find cheap English raspberries and mixed fruit bags for around £2 for a 500g bag in places like Iceland and Farm Food. So, although the fruit has gone through the freezing and packaging process, it is English and is a fraction of the cost, both in pound notes and in carbon. The muffins are lovely too, and have that nice bursting fruit quality you find in the blueberry ones. I've made them for my FIL and he thinks they'd make a good fruit pudding (in the old-fashioned English sense of the word) with the added addition of custard or cream. Anyway, I'm probably the only person in blogland who sees it fit to wax lyrical on muffins for ages, so I'm going to cut to the chase and publish the recipe. Enjoy!

10 oz plain flour*
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-4 oz white sugar
1 egg
8 fl oz milk/buttermilk
3 fl oz butter melted
5 oz frozen summer berries (mixed or whatever)

  1. Prepare muffin tins and preheat oven to 190-200C.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together (or stir with a fork): flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in sugar and set aside.
  3. In another bowl, beat egg, stir in milk followed by the melted butter.
  4. Pour all of wet ingredients into dry. Stir just until combined. Gently fold in berries at the end, using only 2-3 strokes to avoid toughening the muffins.
  5. Spoon mixture into cups. Bake for 25 minutes.
*With self-raising flour, reduce baking powder to 1 teaspoon.


Marie N. said...

We prefer home made *real* blueberry muffins and griddlecakes too. The blueberries here are just ripening now.

Gumbo Lily said...

I love, love, love fresh blueberries and like you, I have a hard time parting with my cash at the supermarket for them. I have, so far, bought 2 pints this summer and I made muffins and pancakes, and we eat them plain-o too. I like to always have a well-stocked freezer which includes some frozen fruits. I have the best strawberry scone recipe that I put frozen strawberries in (even though it calls for fresh). And I can hardly make a smoothie without some sort of frozen fruit included (makes it frostier or something).


Dulce Domum said...

Hi Marie
My blueberries are still puny and green, I'm reckoning on a late July/early August harvest.

Hi Jody
I tasted blueberries for the first time in New England when I was 14, I've been hooked ever since!

Anonymous said...

They look delish!

Susan Reimer said...

It's always lovely to hear how people are enjoying Muffins: Fast and Fantastic. Thank you so much for your positive review. However, with so many people posting their favourite recipes, nearly 40% of the book's recipes can now be found on the web, which is especially a problem for a slim book like Muffins. It is now at risk of going out of print. May I suggest that, instead of posting a recipe, you direct your readers to the official Muffins website where they can order a book and find other helpful information.

Many thanks!
Susan Reimer (author of Muffins: Fast and Fantastic)