We simply love our Blackberries here in Texas. I can usually get plenty put up in the freezer and for preserves. They grow abundantly wild here and usually ready to begin picking early in the summer. My favorite jam recipe is mixing blackberries with strawberries. YUM!
We call em Dew Berries here in Texas, but the proper name for them would be Zarzamoras. That can be a fun word to play with in the garden when trying to sound sophisticated. Just funnin y'all.
Here is a picture of some this past spring in an area outside the garden. Notice the thorns. Be very careful when picking. When I snapped this shot my mouth was watering in anticipation of some sweet blackberries. Without rain for so long however, we just managed to get a couple hand fulls.
We decided not to take anymore chances in the berry department and planted some thorn less varieties directly in the garden this fall.
We found some excellent choices called Arapaho and Navajo that were developed at the University of Arkansas. They are suppose to be excellent berries for Texas and hold up to the heat and dry spells. They are suppose to start producing berries in only one year after planting as well.
The reason I mention the Sequoias in the title is because during the Christmas season we get the best little navel oranges coming up from the valley. Just a teaspoon or two with blackberry muffins and a pinch of vanilla make the most delicious muffins!
The batter for the muffins is very easy to put together. It is very thick, almost like a cookie dough, but not quite. It makes them a bit tricky to spoon in the muffin cups, but it can be done and well worth it.
The recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart. How can it be bad hahaha. I did make subtle change in as far as the ingredients needing to be organic and I sprinkled brown sugar on top instead of the vanilla sugar or regular sugar.
I also added 1/2 tsp. of pure vanilla extract since I didn't make the vanilla sugar. This makes exactly 1 dozen muffins. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Blackberry Orange Muffins
adapted from Martha Stewart
2 cups organic unbleached bread flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 tsp grated Sequoia orange zest
2 cups fresh blackberries (or berry of your choice..use frozen if you can’t find fresh!)
1 stick organic unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, one by one, until thoroughly combined. Add the milk and vanilla and blend.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and toss gently, being careful not to crush the berries. Scoop batter into 12 greased muffin tins sprinkle vanilla sugar (or regular granulated sugar) over the tops. (I used dark brown sugar)
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the tops are golden. Let cool for five minutes in the tins then pop out and cool completely.
Your gonna love these!!! I was skeptical the first time I made them, but they are perfectly YUMMY!!