The trick to fluffy muffins is to fold the wet and dry ingredients together as briefly as possible until just combined; don’t worry if the mixture still looks a little lumpy. If you don’t have buttermilk, just use regular low fat milk with a squeeze of lemon juice and leave for 20 minutes.
Typical nutritional content (per portion)
150g (5oz) plain flour
1 ½tsp baking powder
50g (2oz) butter or polyunsaturated margarine, at room temperature
75g (3oz) caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
150ml (¼ pint) buttermilk
100g (4oz) mixed berries, such as raspberries, blueberries and small blackberries
Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F/Gas mark 4. Line a muffin tin with 10 deep paper cases.
Sieve the flour into a large bowl with the baking powder.
Cream together the butter or margarine and sugar in a separate bowl until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg and lemon.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk or milk and lemon juice mixture. Add the sugar mixture and mixed berries and quickly mix everything together with a large metal spoon until just combined. Don’t overwork the batter.
Heap the mixture into the paper cases filling them about two-thirds full. Bake for 20 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Serve warm or on the day they are made.
Variation: Cherry love: Use 75g (3oz) of dried pitted cherries instead of the mixed berries.
Variation: Blueberry and orange: Use 75g (3oz) of dried blueberries instead of the mixed berries and try lime rind instead of lemon.
Variation: Sultana and lemon: Omit the mixed berries and replace with sultanas and use orange rind instead of lemon.