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.