Backyard Foraging | Juneberry Muffins

It is a great pleasure to identify edible plants, trees and flowers to include in my culinary endeavors.  Most recently I rang my neighbor’s doorbell to ask if he wouldn’t mind if I picked a few bowls of berries from his Juneberry tree (a.k.a., saskatoon, shadbush, sugar plum, service berry, et al) in return for some baked goods and perhaps a cocktail, some jam and maybe some ice cream, or a cobbler.  The possibilities are endless.  He didn’t say no.

This recipe is not for a sugary sweet cupcake that masquerades as a muffin.  No, these are delicate-crumbed cakes – almost savory –  plump with jammy berries and a whisper of almond, echoing the notes of the berries’ seeds.

Old Fashioned Juneberry Muffins, makes 10, adapted from James Beard

2 c. sifted flour (I used unbleached all purpose)

1/2 c sugar

1 T baking powder

1/2 t salt

1 egg, beaten

1 c milk (I used whole)

1 1/2 t almond extract

1/4 c melted butter

3/4 c  lightly floured Juneberries

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Butter the muffin tin.  I used a regular sized tin; this batch made 10.

Sift all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl (alternately you can whisk everything together lightly).

Make a well in the center and add the eggs, milk, extract and butter.  (I whisked all together prior to adding to the dry ingredients.)  Stir to a smooth batter.

Fold in fruit.  Spoon into prepared muffin tins until 3/4 full.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until nicely browned.

Playlist included Junebug, by Robert Francis.

13 thoughts on “Backyard Foraging | Juneberry Muffins

  1. I had never heard of Juneberries before today either, however I had heard of Service Berries, don’t think I had ever seen one, they actually look like huckleberries, I would like to try them and also find them. I bet your recipe would be good with any of the summer berries and will have to try it, sounds so good. Wonderful blog.

  2. Where I live we can, in the right season, pick ridiculous amounts of blackberry’s. Using fruit straight off a tree really does make for an incredibly nice dessert. So much cheaper too, fruit can be damn expensive.

    1. Lucky, lucky you! And you aren’t kidding. I just picked cherries not too far from me (at a you-pick farm) and it was much cheaper than at the local Whole Foods. ‘course you gotta do the work. But it’s worth it, I think. Enjoy the rest of the full-of-fruit summer!

  3. Wow- looks great! I did a little foraging for mulberries in my back alley! We just ate them on their own- but trying them in place of the juneberries sounds perfect. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  4. just harvested a bumper crop of Juneberries from my own bush. slightly underripe but I beat the birds this year! am sooo making this recipe, today.

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