Saturday, 6 September 2014

Gluttonous blackberry, or summer fruit muffin recipe

I've been blackberrying this week and the rest of Essex appears to have beaten me to it.  I was quite persistent though and managed a reasonable haul.

To save this nature's harvest I soak them in a salty solution for a while (I read somewhere this gets rid of any bugs), then rinse, drain and freeze.  To freeze I use a big baking sheet with edges and spread the fruit one fruit deep.  Bung in the freezer and then when frozen I store in plastic containers, but freezer bags work equally well.

This weekend I fancied a mid-morning treat so I made some blackberry muffins.

Blackberry muffins

If you too have a glut of blackberries, or any summer fruit then why not try this easy recipe.

You will need a 12 hole muffin tin and muffin cases and a fan oven pre-heated to 160°C.  I use different quantities of liquid and fruit depending on whether the fruit is frozen or not.  When I freeze fruit I wash it, drain it and then freeze.  I figure I can never remove all the water so the frozen weight includes water that isn't part of the fruit. So I reduce the liquid by the same amount that I increase the fruit amount by.  Does that make sense?



  • 280g plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (extract not essence) - optional (I didn't use this)
  • 85-110g white sugar (caster or granulated) - amount varies depending on how sweet you like things
  • 1 egg
  • 240 ml milk (220ml if using frozen berries) - any type of milk
  • 90ml corn oil (sunflower oil or rapeseed oil will also work but don't use olive oil)
  • 140g blackberries or other fruit (160g if using frozen fruit)



  • Firstly - if using frozen berries then don't defrost them before using them.
  • In a large bowl stir flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together with a fork.   If you like washing up then use a sieve (I never use a sieve).
  • In a separate bowl or jug beat the egg and stir in milk and corn oil.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until you can't see any flour.  Do not beat the mixture.  STIR only.  I use big tablespoon for stirring rather than wooden spoon.
  • Stir berries in at the end until evenly distributed. If using fresh fruit then do this gently to avoid crushing the berries.  Big berries should be chopped before this step.  I had smallish blackberries and didn't chop them - I couldn't really because they were frozen.
  • Spoon mixture into muffin cases.  I find this mixture makes eleven good-sized muffins but you could make 12 slightly smaller ones.
  • Cook for 20-25 mins (add 5 mins if fruit is frozen).
  • They don't go a deep brown colour and should be taken out of the oven when lightly browned or when they spring back when pressed lightly.
  • Tempting as it is to have them straight from the oven it is best to wait until they've cooled a little because otherwise the muffin stays stuck to the muffin case.
  • These muffins freeze very well and can be defrosted quickly with a 30 second blast in the microwave on full power (one at a time).



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