I get no greater thrill during the summer than checking out the farmer’s market every week; and I seldom buy anything. I just like the Christmas-like excitement of finding out what’s finally in season. This past week strawberries hit their peak which lead me to buying some strawberries that were so juicy and sweet they were actually falling apart (thanks Klug Farms!). I bought them before I realized I really had no recipes for strawberries aside from daquiris. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good strawberry daquiri, but I figured my job would frown on me being drunk more often than not as I worked my way through the 2 pints of berries I purchased.
Instead I went with the less alcoholic, but still delicious, idea and made some strawberry muffins this morning. I’ve attempted muffins in the past, but never quite got the recipe I was looking for until now. Nate Meads of the oft-mentioned Fritz Pastry introduced me to Jacques Torres’ book Dessert Circus. Jacques talks about the importance of adding ingredients individually to give the muffin a more crumb-like texture instead of the typical cake finish. And let me tell you, he’s right. Sure it may take a little longer than dumping liquid ingredients into dry ingredients, but the payoff is worth it.
I made a couple changes and additions to the original recipe. There’s no call for ginger or vanilla in Torres’ version, and you can swap out the strawberries for whatever your favorite berry is.
Strawberry Muffins w/ Crumb Topping
- 2 cups bread or AP flour
- 1/2 heaping Tbsp Baking powder
- Pinch kosher salt
- Pinch cinnamon
- Pinch ginger
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup melted better
- 2 Large eggs
- 1/2 cup fat free milk (use whole milk for a richer muffin)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4-1 cup strawberries
Preheat oven to 375
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Mix in the melted butter with a spatula making sure the flour is completely coated. Mix in eggs and mix until combined. Mix in milk until combined. If using fresh berries place the fruit in the freezer until just frozen before adding them to the batter.
Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full, sprinkling some of the crumb topping (see below) on each muffin. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the muffin pan to cool completely before removing the muffins.
Recipe makes 12 regular muffins or 6 jumbo muffins
- 2/3 cup cake flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup AP flour
- 7 Tbsp cold butter, cubed
Mix the dry ingredients together. Take the butter and mix with the dry ingredients by hand, forming crumbs between your fingers. Continue mixing all the butter until there are crumbs of butter still showing.