I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Blackberry Orange Muffins

I have waxed poetic about my love for fresh blackberries before, with my Tennessee Blackberry Jam Cake, and at this time of year, when the big juicy berries are all over the farmers markets, I can hardly resist.  I find that I buy way more than I can consume on their own, sprinkled with a little sugar.  Luckily, they are amazing in baked goods like these tender muffins.  A generous grating of orange zest and a good dose of orange juice are a perfect foil for the sweet-tart berries, subtle but not overpowering.

Turbinado sugar is a large-grained raw light brown sugar that is perfect for spinkling over baked goods, as it gives a sweet, crackly finish.  You can find turbinado sugar in bulk at many stores, so buy just enough to keep on hand for baking.  You can use plain white granulated sugar here, but it won’t give the same crunchy, rich top.

Blackberry Orange Muffins

Paper liners are best with these muffins, as some berries will stick to the side of the pan.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Grated rind of one orange

1 egg

½ cup butter, melted and cooled

½ cup fresh orange juice (from 1 – 2 navel oranges)

2 cups fresh blackberries

Turbinado or granulated sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, nutmeg and orange rind together with a fork to combine and aerate.  In another bowl, lightly beat the egg, then add the melted butter and orange juice.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients and gently fold until just mixed.  For a light muffin, don’t over mix.  A few streaks of dry ingredients is okay at this point.  Gently fold in the blackberries.

Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups.  Sprinkle the tops of each muffin generously with a nice topping of turbinado sugar.  Bake the muffins for 15- 20 minutes, until puffed and golden and a tested inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it.  Cool the muffins in the pan for 3 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool.

 Makes 12 muffins

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