Do you know the muffin (wo)man?

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If I lived a nursery rhyme, I'd be the Muffin (wo)man who lives down Drury Lane.  This is different from a fairy tale, mind you, because then I would have surely been born as a princess, and waltzed around a beautiful castle with lots of custom made shoes that fit my size 12s…. but in nursery rhyme land, muffins are a passion of mine.  Muffin tops be damned!  Breakfast.  Lunch.  A quick snack before boarding the aircraft.  I can't eat enough of them.  I probably dream of opening a bed & breakfast home one day just as an excuse for testing a new muffin recipe each day of the week.  Lemon, zucchini, green tea, chocolate ricotta.  You name it, I'll blend it into a batter and bake it.  Favorite accompaniments are peanut butter and homemade lemon curd, sometimes together!  Either way, I find them easy, versatile, and endlessly flexible with my mood or the market of the day.

When I cruised through Place Maubert's farmers market this week and spied a display of super end-of-season, perfect strawberries, I reserved a few and tossed them into this batch.  I hope I did them honor.

Strawberry Basil Muffins

  • 2 ¼ cups Flour, (may substitute up to half with whole wheat or oat flour)
  • ⅓ cup Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon Baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Ginger, ground
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup Canola oil*
  • ½ cup Milk, (may substitute half milk, half plain yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 cup Strawberries**, sliced
  • ½ cup Pecans, toasted, chopped
  • about 2 tablespoons Basil, chopped
Servings/Yield: 11 standard muffins
1. In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients: flour through ginger.
2. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a wire whisk till fully incorporated. Add the oil, milk, vanilla and whisk till blended.
3. In three steps, add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and blend until everything holds together. Do not over mix. Fold in the sliced strawberries, nuts, and basil.
4. Drop batter into prepared muffin tin (or paper liners) and fill the cups 3/4 full for a nice, tall muffin. Bake 15-18 minutes at 400˚F / 200˚C. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 mins, then remove muffins from the tin and place onto rack to finish cooling.
Notes
* If you're not shy about butter, you can also switch out the oil for butter. Use 1 stick (8T) + 3T, melted and cooled.
** Strawberries can also be macerated in balsamic vinegar. Simply wash and slice berries and place into a bowl, adding about 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar. Stirring occasionally, allow to marinate as you prepare the recipe as normal, then strain the berries prior to adding to the batter. It's okay if some of the marinade liquid makes it into the batter, but no more than 1 tablespoon. If you like, you could reserve the marinade to use later with a salad dressing.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0uZC8DzcOU]

À la prochaine….