If you visit Newfoundland during the summer and early fall you may see people parked by the side of the highway. They will be sitting there in metal lawn chairs with plastic ice cream buckets at their feet. Those buckets are probably filled with freshly picked berries. When we were kids, my brother and I would pick wild blueberries for our nan’s pies. We would take a plastic margarine tub and was told “Don’t come back until it’s full!” She still insists we have some pie when we visit.
Newfoundland is unique in that the soil is fairly acidic, making it perfect conditions for acid loving fruit. The most common fruit one can find is blueberries, raspberries, dogberries, partridgeberries, and bakeapples. You may not have heard of the last two. Bakeapples, also known as cloudberries, look like a pale orange raspberry and grows in boggy areas. Partridgeberries, also known as lingonberries or cowberry, are hearty and the plant can survive temperatures as low as -40C.
The fruit is quite tart and can have a slightly bitter aftertaste. Both berries are perfect as a jam or in a sweet dessert.
That’s why I like these mini muffins. They are the perfect size for a quick snack. The partridgeberry jam in the center gives you that little tartness, coupled with the sweetness of the muffin.
If you want to make them as a regular muffin, then you’ll have to bake them a little longer, and of course, add a little more jam.
Check out the recipe below and tell my your thoughts. If you don’t have partridgeberry jam you can use your favourite flavour of jam you have on hand. If you’re close to a certain Scandinavian furniture store, they carry lingonberry jam. It’s the same thing but with a different name.
Partridge Berry Mini Muffins
- 1 1/2 cups All purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup milk any fat will do (whole, 2%, 1%, or skim)
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup partridgeberry jam also known as lingonberry
Preheat your oven to 375F. Spray a mini muffin pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt with a wire whisk. In a medium bowl, beat the milk, melted butter, egg and vanilla extract with a fork until well blended. Add the milk mixture to the the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Using a #30 scoop (1 oz) scoop a level amount of the batter into each mini muffin pan cup. Take a disposable plastic bag and add the jam. Cut a small piece off one corner and squeeze a little bit of jam into the middle of the muffin batter. You'll only need about 1/2 teaspoon per muffin, if not less. Bake for 20 minutes and check with a toothpick for doneness.
Allow the muffins to cool in the pans completely. Remove from the pan and sprinkle with icing sugar. Serve immediately. If you want to serve them later, then hold off on the icing sugar as it will get absorbed by the muffin and disappear.
You may substitute your favourite jam if you can't find partridgeberry.