The Wild Black Raspberry version of X-Factor Muffins
I’ve long made muffins using the “Old School Muffins” recipe in Alton Brown’s I’m Just Here for More Food. I like the tender texture and the more moderate sweetness of his recipe, as compared with more typical modern recipes, which are more like cupcakes. However, I wanted to make muffins to celebrate Wild Black Raspberries, but had not had time to make yogurt. It turns out our local “grocery store” doesn’t actually sell plain yogurt(!), so buying some was nixed. My wife, Xenia, suggested substituting sour cream instead.
The substitution was inspired! It did require a bit of fiddling with the leavening, because sour cream is not as acidic as yogurt. But the result is even better. Hence, in honor of Xenia, I dub these, X-Factor Muffins.
Black Iron Black Raspberry Cobbler: a decadent celebration of early summer, baked in a cast iron skillet.
Nature provides us with many wonderful and important things. Among the most important are oxygen and wild black raspberries. Truly, I can’t think of many things better, and nothing that makes a better celebration of early summer than Wild Black Raspberries. Yes, that’s in title caps intentionally.
Picking them is a metaphor for life. Good things don’t come easy, and some of the best come with a good deal of itching: our raspberries grow in the same niches favored by poison ivy, stinging nettle, wild blackberry, wild roses, and mosquitoes, and the tiny berries take a long time to pick. But the reward is wonderful. This cobbler takes a bunch of berries, so I tend to reserve it only for special people, like myself and my wife. I bake it in a 9″ cast iron skillet, because I like it that way! Continue reading →