I don’t usually buy raspberries from the shops. It seems like too much of a lottery to me. They can look like the biggest, most amazing raspberries in the world, and at $10-$12 a punnet, can still turn out flavourless or sour. Unless it’s for a special occasion; like when I’m making a special cake for a friend, I’d much rather be buying blueberries or even strawberries. When you do strike it lucky however, and manage to land a punnet of good raspberries, they are definitely worth the money and the trouble. I love these little orbed fruits. Self contained vessels of flavour that burst in your mouth. That intense red. Their fragility.
Being such striking fruits, I find we use them a lot at work, even during the winter. The climate in Australia is such that in the middle of winter you can be wearing woolen scarves in Sydney, but walking around in the shorts and a t-shirt, further up north of the country – I know I did, when we were on a family holiday near Townsville, several years ago. So that means a constant supply of berries all year round.
Raspberries (like most other berries) are great because they are high in fibre, packed with vitamins and minerals, and are rich in anti-oxidants. They also have the added bonus of being reportedly good for your eyesight – just think, with the combined power of raspberries and carrots, I will have.. X-Ray Vision!! (try telling that to your kids)
Raspberries don’t last long at their peak, so I try to use them up quickly once I’ve bought them. Any leftover or less-than-perfect fruit, often get turned into muffins as a mid morning snack. For added texture, I sometimes sprinkle some crumble mixture or demerara sugar over each muffin before baking them in the oven.
This raspberry muffin recipe is one of many I’ve been trialling over the past couple of months. It comes from the Macrina Bakery Cookbook, which is worth having a look at. These muffins are at their best eaten almost straight from the oven, and are my contribution to this week’s WHB, hosted by The Chocolate Lady.
Macrina’s Raspberry Muffins :
3 cups plain flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups whole milk
8 tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 cups whole raspberries
1/2 cup coarse raw sugar
Preheat oven to 190’C.
Sift flour, caster sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Mix gently with a wooden spoon and set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine eggs, vanilla extract, lemon zest and milk, and mix with a whisk until combined. Add to the bowl of dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon just until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Slowly add melted butter and continue mixing until batter is smooth and there are no visible streaks of butter. Gently fold fruit into batter, taking care to avoid crushing the fruit.
Scoop batter into lined muffin tin, filling the cups to the top. Sprinkle coarse raw sugar on tops of muffins and bake on center rack of oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Finished muffins will be golden brown. Let cool at least 10 minutes before lifting each muffin from the pan.