The long hot days and clear blue skies of Christmas holidays always bring back memories of childhood summers spent picking berries. Basking in the solitude of those long green rows; stained fingers working quickly, the sun-warmed juices dribbling down your chin.
This morning my lovely neighbours brought around a huge bowl or blueberries, fresh-picked on the way home from their holiday by the beach. I decided to make muffins, but unlike the sickly-sweet and wan shop-bought varieties these ones were substantial; a sumptuously dense and moist crumb full of flavour and generously laden with fruit.
The rest of the berries were eaten as is, in the sun, daydreaming of the next secluded getaway...
OAT, BLUEBERRY & WALNUT MUFFINS (adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's blueberry recipes, published by The Guardian, 14 July 2012)
- 125 g wholemeal flour
- 125 g porridge oats
- 3 tsp baking powder
- Pinch salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 100 g light brown sugar
- Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lime
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 small overripe bananas, mashed
- 60 ml milk
- 50 g unsalted butter, melted
- 200 g blueberries
- 75 g walnuts, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 200°C and put 12 large paper cases into the holes of a muffin tray.
Put flour, oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and zest into a large bowl and mix with a fork until combined. In a separate bowl mix together banana, lime juice, egg, milk and melted butter. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix lightly. Scatter over walnuts and blueberries and fold in briefly, being careful not to over-mix.
Divide batter between the paper cases and scatter 1-2 teaspoons crumble mix (see below) on each. Bake for 25 minutes until well risen and golden. Transfer to a rack to cool.
For the crumble topping:
- 45 g butter
- 60 g flour
- 80 g golden caster sugar
Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and rub together until you have a crumbly mixture.
** These muffins are best enjoyed fresh. HFW recommends to eat within 24 hours, but if that's too much of a challenge I'd suggest warming them in a moderate oven for a few minutes until the crumble is once again crisp.