Friday, 20 June 2014

Pop-Pop's Biscuit Muffins - with Haskaps

One of my earliest cooking memories, from when I was 8 or 9, is of getting up early before anyone else was up and helping my grandfather make breakfast. He made coffee,  taught me to make scrambled eggs, and we made these muffins. Well, kind of these muffins. His were stupendously light, white, and fluffy, because he used white flour and shortening. I tend to make them with half whole wheat flour, and butter, so mine are more ecru. I'm really happy, though, that even then I thought to get the recipe.

I thought of them this week when we pickd our first haskap berries. This is only their second year in our garden, and between 4 or 5 plants we managed to collect a cup of berries in one picking. Last year, when we planted them, there were only enough to taste a few berries each.

Unless you are growing haskap, you are unlikely to have them available. You can replace them with raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries when the time for them arrives, or these are perfectly good muffins without any berries added - Pop-Pop didn't.

Note: If you use the haskap berries, or some other really tart berry, such as cranberries or raspberries, you may wish to double the sugar. Or not; but it's something to think about.

6 large muffins
30 minutes prep time

Pop-Pop's Biscuit Muffins - with Haskaps

2 cups soft unbleached flour
OR 1 cup soft unbl flour AND 1 cup soft whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sugar (see Note)
1 large egg
3/4 cup milk

1 cup small berries (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400°F and prepare six muffin cups, by buttering and flouring them, or by lining them with muffin papers. 

Measure the flour and mix in the baking powder and salt - this can be done right in the measuring cup.

Cream the butter and sugar in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Break in the egg and mix it in well.

Stir in the flour alternately with the milk,  until well blended, but do not over-mix. Gently stir in the berries, if you wish to include some.

Divide the (fairly stiff) batter evenly between the 6 muffin cups. Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes, until lightly browned and firm on top. Remove from the tins after 5 or 10 minutes to finish cooling, but these are best eaten while freshly baked.

Last year at this time I made Squash Blossom Fritters

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