Do you know what time it is? It’s the perfect time to make Fresh Strawberry Muffins!
I know this because organic strawberries are finally in plentiful supply. You already know that I follow the whole Dirty Dozen list and only buy organic berries.
This year, strawberries topped the “dirty” list and are pretty much always one of the foods most noted for pesticides.
Blueberries didn’t make the list this year, but they’re often on the list, so I just leave them on my own personal list of organic foods to buy.
I know it’s difficult to completely avoid pesticides, but I make a concerted effort to avoid them wherever I can. So, for berries, it’s all organic for me.
Of course, this makes them more expensive. Sometimes, I see these little trays of organic blueberries that are double or triple the price of non-organics and easily triple or quadruple the price I pay for them in season.
I know. I say this every year. But I swear I’m like a kid in a candy store when the season finally arrives.
So, when the supply surges and I can get big quantities of organic berries in season, I buy them. Sometimes, I buy LOTS of them and freeze them. That way, I have plenty of berries ready and waiting once the season is over.
Needless to say, I bought a large quantity over the weekend. Yep, lowest prices of the year. Still more expensive than non-organic, but an amazing deal, nonetheless.
My family will be seeing fresh berries showing up A LOT this week. They love eating them plain. But you know how they really love them now? With Nutella.
They will go through a pound of strawberries in a heart beat if there’s a spoonful of Nutella on their plate for dipping. I swear it’s better than any strawberry dipped in just plain chocolate. And, you don’t have to melt it :)
Actually, I could have swirled some Nutella into the top of these muffins, just like I did with my Pumpkin Muffins with Nutella Cream Cheese Swirl.
But, when I was developing the recipe, I really just wanted to make something where the strawberries would be the one and only star of the show.
Those scones are like strawberry shortcake in scone form. Yummy!
And hey, who doesn’t love a good muffin? With strawberry shortcake on the brain, I figured why not make a simple Fresh Strawberry Muffin?
It will be like strawberry shortcake, but in muffin form. Another complete little package of yum. That sounded pretty good to me, so I went with it.
We’re going to begin with the strawberries. Before you do anything else, go ahead and chop them up and let them hang out in a single layer on some paper towels. This will help soak up some of the extra moisture.
Now, you’ll need two bowls, one for the wet and one for the dry. (And you’re going to use the dry bowl more than once so don’t get over zealous with cleaning up and put it in the sink before you’re done using it ;)
Then, just whisk up the dry ingredients in one of the bowls and whisk up the wet in the other.
Tip: Make sure ingredients are at the proper temperature
Now, for the wet ingredients, this recipe uses melted butter. So, let’s take a moment to talk about the temperature of ingredients. It’s important.
We have to be a little bit careful with the temperature of ingredients because we don’t want to solidify the melted butter with cold eggs and cold yogurt. And, we don’t want to cook the eggs with hot butter.
If the butter solidifies, your muffin will be kind of dense. This happened to me when I made Strawberry Cake. That recipe uses frozen strawberries. I didn’t let them fully come to room temperature after they thawed. That affected the texture of my cake.
If your eggs cook from being mixed in to molten hot butter? Well, you’ll just have to start over. Can’t save that one. No one wants bits of cooked egg in their bite of muffin.
So here are the choices:
Let your butter cool after you’ve melted it. It should still be melted, but you don’t want it to be hot. Then, use room temperature yogurt and eggs.
Or, you could do what I did and take a short cut.
I didn’t let the butter cool. I just heated it in the microwave until it was fully melted. Then, I stirred the cold yogurt into the hot butter to cool it down. It was hot enough not to solidify from the addition of cold yogurt.
Once I stirred them both together, the mixture was close to room temperature and quite safe to add my room temperature eggs without risk of cooking them.
Two choices on process. Do what feels right for you. The shortcut worked nicely for me.
Next, the dry ingredients are added to the wet ingredients. Stir just until combined. Muffins are one of those of those batters that you don’t want to over mix, so don’t go crazy.
Then, pat the strawberries dry with another paper towel and put them into the bowl that had the dry mixture in it. (We’re saving dishes here.)
Toss the chopped berries with a spoonful of flour and gently fold them into the batter. Then, it’s just a matter of filling the muffin cups.
I note in the recipe that a couple of the muffins had too many strawberries in the bottom of the cup. Not a disaster, by any means. They tasted as good as the others, but I would have liked a little less moisture all clustered together.
Why did that happen? Well, it wasn’t because they sunk to the bottom.
Some scoops of batter simply had more strawberries than others. I saw it happen while I was scooping, but I was not about to start scooping them out.
Next time, I could do a better job of scooping batter that’s more evenly distributed with fruit. Again, I only had an issue with 2 muffins…but one of those muffins was mine.
I’m going experiment a bit in the future. I’ll try waiting to add the strawberries to the batter until after I’ve added a spoonful of plain batter to each cup.
Then, I’ll mix the berries into the rest of the batter and finish distributing it. That way, I’ll have a small base of batter as a cushion for the scoops that have lots of berries in them.
Granted, it might make the rest of the batter a little over laden with berries. Or, it might be the most amazing thing ever and I’ll do it with every fruit filled muffin I make :)
Yep, only time and trial will tell. For me, a recipe is never completely done. I’ll always play with ingredients, ratios and processes.
For most of you, you’ll just want to get that batter in the pan and bake the darn things. Like I said, it’s hardly an issue. No one, besides me, even noticed what I was talking about. Their muffins were cool and groovy.
Once the muffins come out of the oven, I usually let them cool in the pan for 5 or 10 minutes and then move them to a rack to finish cooling.
But sometimes, if I’m not in the mood to get the cooling rack out, I’ll just tip every muffin on its side. (I’ll still wait the 10 minutes or so to make sure they’ve had time to set and cool a bit before I handle them.)
Have you ever left cupcakes or muffins in the pan too long and the bottoms get all soggy from the steam trapped at the bottom? This alleviates that.
Tipping them allows all that residual heat to escape. No soggy muffin bottoms.
Then, it’s time to top them…or not. They’re great plain or with a dusting of powdered sugar. I considered a strawberry glaze or a cream cheese glaze or a drizzle of icing…lemon perhaps?
This time, I was going for simple. I just wanted to make simple Fresh Strawberry Muffins.
The muffins were full of fresh strawberry flavor. They were tender and lightly sweet. And that bit of yogurt not only added some protein but moisture and richness as well. (And, we already discussed the moisture the berries added.)
Of course, it only took one bite for them to remind me of strawberry shortcake.
Mission accomplished :)
Fresh Strawberry Muffins
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt I used 2%
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups chopped fresh strawberries patted dry
- 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.
While you're preparing the muffin batter, place your chopped strawberries on a paper towel lined plate to help soak up any excess juices.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, yogurt, eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix just until you have a few flour streaks left. (We'll finish mixing in the next step.)
Pat your strawberries with paper towels one more time, then place them in the empty bowl you used to mix the dry ingredients. Toss them with a Tablespoon of flour, then add them to the batter, folding them gently into the mixture just until they're distributed.
Divide the batter into the 12 muffin cups. There will be enough batter to fill each cup to the top.
Bake for 10 minutes in your pre-heated 425 degree oven. After 10 minutes, without opening the door, lower your oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Bake for another 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Then, remove to a rack to finish cooling. Alternatively, you can tip each muffin while it's still in the pan to allow air to circulate around the muffin and allow them to finish cooling in the pan.
*I always use a spring action ice cream scoop to distribute muffin, cupcake or cookie batter.
*I didn't wait for the butter to cool for this recipe. I mixed the hot, melted butter with the cold yogurt and basically got a room temperature mixture to which I could easily add the room temperature eggs. Alternatively, you could just let the butter cool for a bit and use room temperature yogurt and eggs.(See post for more info on this.)
*Because we're filling these cups almost to the top, you will have to scoop multiple times. If you have a choice while scooping, try to keep any scoops that are overflowing with strawberries closer to the top of the muffin. I had a couple of muffins that had too many strawberries crowding the bottom of the cup. In the future, I might try experimenting with distributing a spoonful of the plain batter into each cup, then adding the strawberries to the remaining batter in the bowl, scooping that strawberry filled batter on top of that plain batter base. It wasn't a huge issue by any means, but in the pursuit of continued development, I will probably experiment with that next time I make any fresh fruit filled muffin.
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