buttermilk berry muffins ;
2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp taking soda
1/4 tsp salt
zest of 1 large orange
1 large egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup orange mango juice
2 cups berries
1. Preheat oven to 375° (190° C). Grease twelve muffin cups or line with papers.
2. In one large bowl, combine all dry ingredients -- flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt. Mix with a fork until completely blended.
3. Zest the orange using a cheese grater and add that to the mix. Blend again.
4. In a second (medium-sized) bowl, combine egg, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Whisk until completely blended.
5. Add juice to liquid mix, whisk until completely blended, then immediately pour into dry ingredients.
6. Mix by hand with a fork until the consistency is like wet dough. This will not be as wet as typical batter, since these are heavy buttermilk muffins instead of cake-like muffins. Do not be alarmed!
7. Fold in berries.
8. Distribute into muffin cups with a spoon. Fill them past full, using up ALL the batter. (This will give them big proper tops!)
9. Bake for approximately 20 minutes? (I don't know. I stopped paying attention to the times written on recipes many years ago. Just wait until the tops are dry and goldenish, then use a toothpick inserted into the center of each muffin to see if they're done. If it comes out clean, they're done. If it comes out wet or crumbly, they need another 5-10 mins.)
10. Let sit in pan for 5 minutes to cool slightly before removing to wire rack.
• "Zest" refers to scraping off the peel in little bits, whether it's a lemon or an orange or whatever, and then putting those peel scrapings into whatever you're making. In this case, once denuded, you should slice the orange to eat it while the muffins bake. Oranges are delicious!
• Mixing these by hand is important. If you overmix, they'll get tough and rubbery, so avoid the electric mixer. You shouldn't need it for this recipe anyway.
• Adding the juice to the liquids last is very important, since juice + milk will curdle if you leave it that way during the time it takes you to do anything else except pour it into the dry stuff.
• If you use frozen berries, do not thaw them first. Put them in frozen! Honest. They bleed less that way and also retain their shape while they bake, so you don't wind up with sad squashed deflated fruit lumps.
• Feel free to change the fruit and the type of juice. In fact, you could skip the juice entirely if you were (for whatever reason) so inclined, though in that case you'd want to make sure you get that 3/4 cup of liquids in through more oil and buttermilk.
• Buttermilk is not the same as "milk with butter in it". It's a milk product that has had enzymes added to it, not unlike in the way yogurt has had the same. (In fact, though buttermilk looks like milk, it SMELLS like yogurt.) You can make a buttermilk substitute if you need to -- for every 1 cup of 2% milk, add 1 tbsp lemon juice, then let sit for 20 min before using.