Can we talk about muffins? Specifically, raspberry muffins? Oh good. I was hoping you'd want to because these are truly captivating muffins.
Now, about raspberries . . . I tend to consider them the champagne of berries. Special, and maybe even celebratory. Being the costly little items that they are, I think I can say with certainty that they will never be bountiful in my household. They do manage to make their way over the threshold once in a while, in one of those diminutive plastic-shell containers, the entire package weighing barely more than a baby bird. You know the ones I mean. And that analogy is probably also apt because raspberries seem to require almost the same tender handling as a baby bird. Easily bruised, their shelf life is brief, so while they're viable they're simply too precious to waste. It's nice when they do make their way not only into my kitchen, but into a recipe this predictably delicious.
You can do a lot with this basic muffin recipe. It can be used with other berries and it can be flavored differently as well, if that's your preference. It's quick, uncomplicated, and just right as one component of a weekend breakfast or brunch. These muffins are sweet, but not too sweet. The tart lime-zest glaze, though delicate in its own way, lends an especially welcome little zing that dovetails perfectly with the flavors of the muffin. The texture is more muffinish than cakey, so you probably won't feel like you're eating dessert when you bite into one (which may or may not be a good thing, depending on your mood and point of view). I can confidently vouch for these. I think you'll like them.
Raspberry Muffins with Lime Zest Glaze
(For a printable version of this recipe click here!)
Makes about at 12 (or 13!) muffins
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups AP flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 to 1 cup fresh ripe raspberries (cut berries approximately in half)
1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
3 T. of water (more or less)
1 tsp. of fresh lime juice
1 tsp. of lime zest (more or less, per your taste)
Put paper liners in your muffin cups or use nonstick baking spray.
Or, if you're a fanatic like me you might actually choose to do both. No kidding, I tend to feel the need to cover all bases whenever a muffin/cupcake pan is involved. And while we're on the subject of muffin cups, have you ever seen or tried these liners in the photo just below? They're environmentally friendly cupcake liners. Unbleached, they're made by a company in Sweden. They've been around for years so I guess you could say they were sort of ahead of their time (let's face it, Sweden's been ahead of us in a number of respects for decades but, hey, that's a post for someone else's blog). The only trouble with them is that they don't really stick very well to all muffins/cupcakes . . . hmmm . . .
Cut up your berries if they're not already pretty small.
Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Add the vanilla extract and the milk. Stir to combine.
Cool until the mixture is just warm, then whisk in the eggs.
Combine well, in a large mixing bowl, the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients, blending just until combined.
Add the raspberries, folding them in gently.
Divide the batter among the muffin cups. It will be pretty soupy, but don't let that stop you from using an ice cream scoop (or "disher" if you prefer) to apportion the batter. It makes the whole business less messy too; I use them all the time.
Put those babies in the oven, on the top rack to help avoid overbrowning the bottoms.
They bake pretty quickly so, knowing your own oven, check up on them accordingly. They take perhaps 16 minutes in my oven, but 15 to 20 minutes is the typical range. Take them out when a toothpick inserted comes out clean, and when they're lightly golden brown on top.
Let them cool in the pan for a minute or two, then take them out and let them cool completely on a rack. Now you can make your glaze.
In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar with the water, adding in just enough until the consistency is thinner than gravy but not watery. Keep stirring and pressing out any little lumps in the sugar until it's all completely smooth. Add in the lime juice and the zest, stirring to combine. Taste it to see if it's zesty enough for you. If not, add in more juice and/or zest. If you prefer a thicker glaze, just add in more sifted confectioners' sugar.
Once the muffins are fully cool, they can be glazed. I dipped the tops of the muffins into a little bowl of glaze, then put them on a rack over a cookie sheet until the glaze set--not long at all. Of course, you can always brush on, or spoon on, the glaze if you like.
Now, break one open and take a bite . . . . . . isn't that good? See, I told you.
*This recipe is adapted from a combo of several fruit muffin recipes I've looked at lately on foodie websites, and from recipes in a variety of cookbooks. Muffin recipes really abound, don't they?
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