Sunday, August 7, 2011
The Muffin Men
If one looks closely at these muffins I made last evening one can see that these are muffin men. Several have prominent noses, and all have faces. They look like dwarves. I attribute this to the vigorous beating I gave them in their birth bowl, despite the warnings of Irma Rombauer. But I had no choice. I had added a cup and a half of muffin stuffings, and I had to make sure it was evenly distributed in the batter.
I have several hundred cookbooks. It would be paralyzing to stand in front of them wondering which one had the best muffin recipe. That is why I think everyone should have one good basic cookbook. This could be Fannie Farmer, or Mark Bittman's "How To Cook Everything", the Doubleday Cookbook, or my choice- "The Joy of Cooking".
I used Rombauer's basic muffin recipe. I always do. And these are scratch muffins. No mix allowed. To the batter ,I added one cup of fresh black cherries from Publix. Pitted of course, in 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces. Then 3-4 heaping tablespoons of very finely diced zucchini. I let my food processor do the dicing.Then I added another heaping tablespoon- of Guava jelly, though I think apricot preserves could be a substitute. The photo showing the sliced muffins shows how dense with fruit they are. I can imagine them being served at a tearoom, perhaps somewhere gracious and antebellum along the Natchez Trace Parkway. No muffin from the grocery store bakery could compete with them, for they have the most precious ingredients of all- love and imagination.
Rombauer's basic recipe:
1 3/4 cup sifted all purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp double-acting baking powder
2-4 tbs melted butter
3/4 cup of milk
Sift the dry ingredients together, then add the liquids, then the fruit and zucchini and jelly. Ignore Rombauer "few swift strokes", and mix vigorously to make sure all the fruit does not end up in one or two muffins. Use 2 muffin pans that will give you 12 muffins total. Spray with canola oil cooking spray. Then bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. I cool mine down on a baking rack. I warn you against hand-greasing with butter or using paper liners. These have never worked for me. I want my muffins whole.
And to re-cap, I added:
1 cup chopped fresh black cherries
4 Big tbs finely diced zucchini
1 heaping tbs guava jelly
Click on photos to enlarge.