From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...These muffins are a great way to use those excess berries you've been accumulating. They are a rich 2 bowl wonder that I know you will enjoy, and while I've used Marionberries, raspberries or blackberries can easily be substituted. Marionberries are unique to the Pacific Northwest and their name comes from the area in which they were first cultivated. Ninety percent of the world's Marionberries are grown here in the Willamette Valley, which considers itself to be the caneberry capitol of the world. While many think the Marionberry is a cross between a raspberry and blackberry, the cultivar is actually a cross between two types of blackberries, one chosen for its sweetness, the other for its prolific growth. The climate here is such, that berries grow almost effortlessly. Our native blackberry, the Himalayan, grows so prolifically that it is considered to be a weed. It grows on slopes and the sides of rural highways, and, at this time of year, it is not uncommon to see folks on the roadsides picking Himalayan berries for their personal consumption. Though wild, they are edible, but their seeds and tart taste are off-putting to those who prefer sweeter berries. The Marionberry has become a local staple and you can't escape a visit to Oregon without sampling a Marionberry cobbler in the summer months. The berries have a rich deep taste that makes them perfect for old-fashioned baking. They work really well in the recipe I'm featuring today. The combination of blackberries with orange juice and zest, is a marriage made in heaven, My only caution regarding this recipe is a warning about the ripeness of the berries you use to make them. The batter for these muffins is thick, and if your berries are too ripe, they'll be crushed and you'll have damp blue-toned muffins that no one will want to eat. I do hope you'll give this recipe a try. Here is how the muffins are made.
Marionberry Muffins...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Driscoll's Berries
1 cup marionberries or other blackberries
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cups packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2/3 cups sour cream or low-fat plain yogurt
1/3 cups canola oil
2 to 3 teaspoons grated orange zest (from about 1 orange)
1/3 cups orange juice
1 large egg
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or coat well with cooking spray.
2) Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl, breaking up any lumps of sugar.
3) Combine sour cream, oil, zest, juice and egg in a large bowl. Stir in flour mixture until partially moistened. Add marionberries and stir gently until evenly mixed. Batter will be thick, do not over stir.
4) Divide batter evenly between muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Bake 20 to 22 minutes until golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan 3 minutes. Serve warm or remove to wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 12 muffins.
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