In an effort to continue eating homemade breakfasts rather than just a boring bowl of cereal, I tried making blackberry muffins. I am a huge fan of all berries, and I love muffins so these were a natural choice for me. These are absolutely delicious! My muffin repertoire is rapidly growing and I love it! This is another great recipe from Williams Sonoma, so it’s no surprise that it turned out well. The only change I made was to exclude the pecans in the topping since I am generally not a fan of nuts.

With many recipes including berries such as muffins and cookies, I often read reviews saying that people have trouble with the batter looking blue or gray. I have yet to have this problem myself. I think the trick is just to use fresh fruit whenever possible, and to be extremely gentle when folding the berries into the batter, so the berries don’t break causing their juice to mix with the batter. With this recipe it was especially tricky because blackberries are so large, but it worked out well. I think a spatula is the best tool for this job.

Blackberry Muffins
For the topping:
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup pecans, finely chopped (optional)

For the muffins:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups fresh blackberries or 2 1/2 cups frozen unsweetened blackberries, unthawed

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Grease 12 standard muffin cups with butter or butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray.

To make the topping, in a small bowl, stir together the sugar, flour and lemon zest. Stir in the melted butter until the mixture is crumbly. Add the pecans and stir to combine. Set aside.

To make the muffins, in a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, lemon zest and salt. Make a well in the center and add the egg, melted butter and buttermilk. Stir just until evenly moistened. The batter will be slightly lumpy. Sprinkle with the blackberries and gently fold in with a large rubber spatula just until evenly distributed, no more than a few strokes. Take care not to break up the fruit. Do not over-mix.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each to a bit above the rim of the cup. Top each muffin with the topping, dividing it evenly (the sugar will melt and produce a glaze effect).

Bake until the muffins are golden, dry and springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Unmold the muffins. Serve warm or at room temperature, with butter. Makes 12 muffins.