For the longest time I thought everything my mother created in the kitchen was a Newfoundland invention. When I was a youngster she would make cabbage rolls from scratch. She would make the filling and boil the cabbage and spend the afternoon rolling them up and baking them for supper. Same with Chinese food. She would cut up pieces of chicken, dip them in batter and deep fry them. Then she would make her own sweet and sour sauce and serve them with stir fried veggies and rice. I thought both of those dishes were Newfoundland recipes. Later, when I was older, I found out that those recipes weren’t authentic to just Newfoundland. But that’s the great thing about food, it becomes authentic to the person making it.
As a baker I’ve learned how to do pastries and breads from around the world. I’ve made baguettes from France, Victoria sponges from England, Swiss meringues, and countless others. But when I try a recipe and I get comfortable with it, then I can experiment and make authentic to me. I can add my ingredients and my take on the recipe. So that’s what I’ve done with this basic banana muffin recipe.
I’ve added the richness of buttermilk and the sweet cinnamon sugar to just give it my spin on a classic muffin. Yes, you can find many, many, many banana muffin recipes out there, but I haven’t found one that adds the cinnamon sugar on top. And that’s the great thing about recipes. You just tweak it a little and it becomes yours.
So, enjoy these wonderful buttermilk banana muffins with a nice cup of tea. And who knows, maybe you’ll change it up to make it your own and it will be just as good, if not better. Remember to invite me over so we can swap!
A moist banana muffin with the slight tanginess of buttermilk and sweet sugar cinnamon topping.
2cupsAll purpose flour
1cupmashed bananaabout 3 bananas
1/2cupbutter or margarinemelted
Preheat oven to 400F
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Use a whisk to mix thoroughly.
In a large bowl with your hand mixer combine the mashed bananas, buttermilk, egg, and vegetable oil. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the dry ingredients. Blend until you cannot see any flour. Do not overmix.
Transfer the batter to greased or lined muffin tin. Using a scoop, fill each until 3/4 full. Bake on middle rack in the oven for 20-25 minutes. The muffins should be slightly brown around the edges.
Let cool for a couple of minutes in the pan and then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Meanwhile combine the remaining cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl for the topping.
Once the muffins have cooled, take one and first dip in the melted butter, shaking off any excess. Then dip in cinnamon sugar.
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.
These mini muffins are a great quick snack when you want something a little tart.
1 1/2cupsAll purpose flour
1cupwhole wheat flour
1cupmilkany fat will do (whole, 2%, 1%, or skim)
1/2 cup buttermelted
1/2cuppartridgeberry jamalso 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.