September is here and after the long, hot summer I am ready for Autumn. While walking around the garden this morning I noticed some ripe blackberries on my thornless plant. ALao for clarity I should mention that I did not have my glasses on. Expecting a great harvest I hurried back to the kitchen to collect a modest size bowl. Also I grabbed my glasses. Five ripe blackberries. Five! Consoling myself I plundered our freezer, where fortunately I had a stash. Finally I can now share my Easy Blackberry Oat Muffin Recipe.
While I find it very satisfying to use produce picked from our garden I am also a realist. Because of the very hot and dry summer some of our fruiting plants have suffered. While our cherry tree had a bumper crop this year, we haven’t any plums and as I mentioned the blackberries are small and scant. Although I am hopeful for a reasonable apple harvest. Even if they are a little smaller this year, I’m sure they will be sweet.
I am glad that I had the foresight to buy punnets of British blackberries and freeze them. Especially as most berries freeze well, with the exception of strawberries. While strawberries defrost to a mushy mess, frozen blackberries, raspberries, red and blackcurrants can be used in place of fresh fruit when it is out of season. Whether you buy and freeze the fruit yourself or buy it ready frozen, it means that we need not be denied luscious berries in the depths of winter.
Recipe: Easy Blackberry Oat Muffin Recipe
100g/4oz Unsalted Butter – melted
200ml/6.5fl oz Whole Milk
2 Large Free Range Eggs
1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey
250g/9oz Plain White Flour
50g/2oz Rolled Oats (Porridge Oats – not quick cook)
2tsp Baking Powder
100g/4oz Caster Sugar
1/4tsp Sea Salt
300g/10.5oz Blackberries – fresh or frozen Waitrose sell frozen British fruits all year round – the berries can be used frozen
Method: Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan, 400F, gas mark 6
Making the muffin batter:
- First of all into a large bowl add the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Usng a balloon whisk mix all of the dry ingredients together – dry mix.
- Hold back 12 blackberries for topping the muffins and tip the remaining blackberries into the dry mix. Gently cover with the flour mixture to coat.
- Into a separate jug measure out the milk.
- Add the eggs, melted butter and vanilla extract and beat with a fork to combine – wet mix.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry mix and pour the wet mix in.
- Stir the mixture (approximately 10 times) with a spoon to almost combine, taking care not to break up the berries.
- A few flour streaks are acceptable. Over mixing will almost certainly result in tough muffins.
- Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Alternatively tulip style muffin wrappers used in my Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins also can be used.
- Use an ice cream scoop to divide the muffin mixture evenly between the 12 cases.
- Place a blackberry (from those held back) on top of each muffin.
- Finally, using a teaspoon, tap a light dusting of caster sugar on top of each muffin.
- Place the muffin tin into the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- The muffins are baked when risen, golden and firm to touch.
- As soon as the muffins are baked remove from the oven.
- Immediately remove the muffins from the tin and place on to a cooling rack – take care as the muffins will be hot.
- Allow the muffins to cool slightly before serving.
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Freshly baked muffins are at their best on the day they are made. Although you can store them in an airtight container for up to two days, refrigerate in warm weather and then refresh in a medium oven for 5 minutes. Especially delicious eats to start the day and also plug that hunger gap throughout the day. Since these muffins truly are delicious served warm from the oven, why not bake them with the intention to share. Neighbours, friends and family are sure to be delighted with a surprise delivery of freshly made muffins. And it is a fact that food always tastes better when shared!
Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens have fun preparing and sharing your feast.
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