First there were the bramble vines we’d monitored for weeks in the town cemetery. Then there were the huge (cultivated) berries hanging over the fence from the neighbor’s garden. Bramble bushes flourishing all over the county told us that there would be berries for everyone come late summer. Even Tesco was packaging Cambridgeshire blackberries… and then marking them down to 80p because the natives knew where they could get them for free. I picked until I had enough, liberating the fruit that was on the verge of rotting, and leaving plenty behind for other people – and of course for the birds – and then I baked.
This recipe is adapted from a ricotta-blueberry muffin recipe from Dorie Greenspan via Serious Eats; hers includes a nice introduction for uninitiated muffin bakers – that is, those who haven’t yet discovered how easy and gratifying they are to bake. The recipe makes 12 small (not mini) muffins, that are best eaten the same day.
- 150 g (3/4 c) ricotta, preferably at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 115 g (1 American stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 150 g sugar (2/3 c)
- Finely grated zest of 1 lime
- 235 g (2 c) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 180-190 g (1 1/3 c) blackberries (If they’re large, cut them into 3 or 4 bits so that the batter can better cohere around them when baked.)