Now that Christmas has passed, our local markets seem to think it’s time for summer, and so they stock the produce section with berries. Considering I live in Southern California, warm weather in January is possible (70s and sunny all week!), so I suppose they’re not wrong about summer approaching. Alas, it isn’t quite berry season, which means I’m sorely tempted, but the quality is spotty and the taste is only perfect if you happen to enjoy tart.
Yet, I still adore berries. Well, except blueberries. I think those are disgusting, but I’ll happily stock my fridge with all the others. Whenever I see them in the market, I must pick some up. I can’t help it; they’re too tempting even though I know they won’t be sweet and might actually taste a bit like grass.
What am I supposed to do with berries when I know they’re not actually ready? Well, make muffins, I guess. These beautiful muffins are full of chopped berries and finely chopped pecans simply because I could. I also had some finely chopped pecans left over from when I made Christmas cookies. Sooo… It made sense, okay?
The thing I love about ratio baking is that I can take a ratio, see what I have on hand, and create something. The thing I don’t love is that I can’t accurately translate things measured in grams to things measured by cups. So, for anyone who doesn’t happen to have a kitchen scale, I’m very sorry!
This recipe can be scaled up or down by using the muffin ratio of 2:2:1:1 flour to liquid to egg to fat. I prefer to use applesauce as it makes my muffins and quick breads softer and moister, so I base my ratio on the fat instead of the eggs. But, if you’re using eggs, start with weighing them. Here, I started with a stick of butter and measured everything out according to it. The best part of this is you can swap out each ingredient for one of the same kind, so you can use a different flour, fat, sugar, fruit, etc. Just ensure the weights adhere to the 2:2:1:1 ratio.
- 113 grams of butter (1 stick or simply 113 grams of the fat of your choice), melted
- 113 grams applesauce (1 snack container of applesauce [or what my 5 year old refers to as baby applesauce], or 2 large eggs weigh about the same)
- 226 grams of milk (or a liquid of your choice, though add less if your fruit contains a lot of liquid, like ripe berries do)
- 240 grams of flour (I used more flour since the fruit contains liquid)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar (you can use the sweetener of your choice, but be sure to add a bit more flour if it’s a liquid sweetener)
- 1 1/2 cups berries chopped into chunks
- 1/4 cup finely chopped nuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a muffin tin with liners.
- Wash and slice berries into chunks and finely chop the nuts (I prefer to use a food processor).
- Mix the melted butter, applesauce, and milk.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and sugar.
- Take a spoonful or two of the flour mixture and coat the berries with it.
- Gently stir in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until the mixture is just barely combined and lumpy. Be sure to mix by hand! Using a mixer will not give you the nice lumpy batter you’re looking for.
- Gently mix in the nuts and then the flour coated berries until just combined.
- Using a large ice cream scoop, fill each muffin liner with a single scoop, or fill each one with an equal amount to just below the top of the liners.
- (Optional) Sprinkle the tops with turbinado sugar.
- Put the tin into the oven and turn the temperature down to 375 degrees. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Let cool in pan about 5 or so minutes and then continue to cool on a rack.
Makes about 10-12 muffins
I hope you enjoy! They’re a little sweet, a little tart, and a little nutty. Hmm, sounds like someone I know…