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applesauce cake

adapted from Gale Gand's Applesauce Cake 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature 2 cups brown sugar (dark or light), ...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

orange-berry buttermilk muffins

2 large eggs
1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar (to your taste)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
1-1/2 tablespoons citrus zest (tangerine zest is especially good, but orange, lemon or lime zest will also work quite well)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups AP flour
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen berries (raspberries, blueberries or blackberries, or a combination)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

preheat oven to 400°F. line twelve muffin cups with paper liners. lightly beat eggs and sugar together in a large bowl, then add buttermilk, melted butter, citrus zest and salt. add flour one cup at a time and mix until just combined (don't overmix!). stir in baking soda until distributed throughout (batter will start to inflate a bit at this point). gently fold in berries with a spatula. divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups; bake for 20-25 minutes. muffins are done when tops are golden-brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out perfectly clean. cool on racks.

*notes: if you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can substitute milk soured with citrus juice (place 1 tablespoon fresh citrus juice in a measuring cup and add regular milk to reach the 1-cup mark) or yogurt thinned with a bit of milk or water. another option is to use regular milk, and replace the 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with 2 teaspoons baking powder, but the muffins won't be quite as yummy nor will they be as tender as those made with buttermilk.

I made a batch of these this morning with tangerine zest and frozen organic blueberries, and I don't care if this is considered bragging -- they're delicious. I didn't have my muffin tin handy when I first experimented with this recipe, so I placed all of the batter into a buttered glass loaf pan. I reduced the heat to 375°F and the loaf browned just a bit before it was completely done inside; next time I'll try baking at 365°F. finally (perhaps needless to say), I used my homemade butter and buttermilk when baking these, but the commercial versions will work just as well.

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