Blueberry Coffeecake Muffins
Sweet, Savory, Decadent, Healthful - All occasion baking with Mani Niall
Consider the Berry
Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Marionberries and STRAWBERRIES - I could go on. We all have a favorite, and I suppose the caps just gave away mine. While the first berries of the season will soon be upon us, or already are in the warmer states, you’ll find them flown in from Mexico and South America all year long. Such is the fate of a popular fruit! So don’t feel bound by the season to try these recipes, but know they will usually taste better when made with seasonal berries, the more local, the better. I often freeze my own at the peak of the season (more on that later).
It is a bakery truism that when you top a dessert with a fresh berry, be it a cupcake, lemon tart or anything chocolate, it will sell better. At Sweet Bar Bakery, we keep fresh berries on hand, and freeze the ones that are less than picture perfect, or before they get old. You can do this easily at home - simply place them on a parchment lined baking sheet in the freezer so they freeze individually, not all stuck together. Once frozen, scoop them into a Ziploc bag and keep them on hand for future baking use. Do not thaw them before baking or you will lose some of their juice and sweetness.
Blueberry Coffeecake Muffin - Loaded with fiber and vitamin C, blueberries are also indigenous to North America; perhaps that accounts for the popularity of the blueberry muffin. These vitamin C loaded berries are a great counterpoint for a rich, coffee-cake style muffin. The oatmeal-walnut crunch streusel on top adds texture.
Strawberry Rhubarb Polenta Upside Down Cakes - Polenta is essentially a coarse grind of corn meal and as such truly captures the essence of a full corn meal taste. I switched to polenta for this very reason, seeking out a medium coarse grind of what is labeled as either polenta or stone ground corn meal. Be sure to let the batter sit for about 15 - 20 minutes so the polenta can absorb the liquids prior to baking.
Mixed Berry Crumble Tart - You can serve this tart up like a slice of pie -- it has the crunch of a classic cobbler, plus a juicy, berry laden, citrus infused filling. What it doesn’t have? Dairy. Gluten. Baking something BOTH gluten free and vegan is no easy task, especially when it has to taste good to everyone. I get a lot of requests for this at the bakery and am so glad to finally have this all in one dessert.