I am left mused on many of my visits here. More often have I seen a wide variety of fruits arranged in an orderly manner, all tempting to be purchased in a lot. Colored grapes and berries, deep red gleaming apples, bright citrus-y fruits, earthy melons, figs, rosy strawberries, not to forget the kiwis too... it's a pure pleasure to see an assortment of inviting fruits, many of which I may have probably not seen or known. I love to see how these fruits adorn this stall! This time too I was mused. And I had a reason. I picked up some of these. I was all ecstatic to see a box of berries sitting at my favorite counter in this fruit shop.
I picked two packs of it (at a good price of course!) and was curious to know where it came from. Inquisitively, I put the question across to him if they were blackberries. And he nodded saying yes. As I inquired more, I learnt that these were Indian produce and not imported ones. Glad! I would have probably paid double otherwise. I was hunting for some blueberries, but instead got some blackberries :). These were not imported berries, but our own Indian yields from Mahabaleshwar.
As I walked back I knew what to make of it. I was glad I could get hold of these berries which had been grabbing my attention for long now. A little disappointed though, as I have been on lookout for blueberries and haven't been able to get hold of them yet :(. No complaints :). These berries were small, ripe and easily squishy, probably from wild produce. They seemed to rot easily, had I not used them at the earliest. I managed to whip up my longing recipe for Blueberry muffins... ooops, Blackberry muffins ;) Finally! Sigh! I breath relief!!!
I did a frantic search on good recipes for blackberries. On few such searches, I learnt that blackberries are deceptively similar to mulberries. As I did more searches, I discovered what I had at hand was mulberries and not blackberries. I felt a little cheated too. :( Mulberries are commonly grown in Mahabaleshwar along with other produces like strawberries, litchis, apples, etc. I am feeling more confident about making various egg-free versions these days as I have been fairly successful in my recent expeditions with them :D So I have made this recipe egg-free.
1 cup all-purpose flour (100 gm + 25 gm)
1/3 cup sugar (approx. 45 gm)
1/2 cup fresh mulberries
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup vegetable oil (35 ml)
3/4 cup low fat milk (90 ml)
1 tbsp dry milk powder (20 gm)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
I prefer cup recommendations any day as to me it is much easier than gram measurements. I like to eyeball my ingredients than actual measurements. That's what makes it 'my' characteristic recipe.
Substitute vegetable oil to butter for a richer tasting muffins. Nothing can beat the richness butter imparts to these baked goods. Butter enhances flavors, unless you want to go low on them for health reasons.
Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Line muffin pan with paper liners.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt. Make a well in the center and keep it aside.
Mix a tablespoonful of milk powder to a cup of warm milk. Dissolve well. Add 1 tbsp of plain flour (taken from the cup measurement of flour) to it. Heat it through till it thickens. This is the egg-replacer being used and it worked fantastic in this recipe!
Next mix in the oil and vanilla extract to it. Pour into the dry mixture and mix till just combined. Gently fold in the mulberries. I squished a few for flavors and color. Using a spoon, divide the batter equally into the muffin cups. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
Lightly dust the muffins with some icing sugar and top each muffin with a fresh mulberry fruit. Serve warm!
I am so glad the way these muffins turned out. My dad is a staunch vegetarian and consuming eggs is a big NO-NO for him. The muffins were not too sweet, so my family loved these moist and delicious treats. I got thumbs up from all. Dad relished it the most and that made me happy! I regret, I made very few. I got about 6 large muffins from 1 cup measuring approximately 125 gm. I'm not a big fan of frosting on cupcakes and muffins. I somehow enjoy them as is, especially warm and fresh out of the oven. They're practically bursting with flavors, mild yet significant.