Monday, September 19, 2011

Swirled Blackberry Sage Banana Muffins

Swirled blackberry sage banana muffins.  Aren't they pretty?  The name even sounds pretty....blackberry sage.  These were inspired by a favorite tea of mine, the (you guessed it) Blackberry Sage flavor of Republic of Tea.  I used to go on afternoon tea runs with a friend of mine when we used to work together, and the people at the place we visited would make any tea iced.  We tried them all - but the blackberry sage remained my favorite.

A few weekends ago, a spree at Haymarket landed me three containers of blackberries.  I was pondering what to do with them on the ride home.  I continued to ponder as I washed them and put them in the fridge.  And then, it hit me.  Of course.  It had to be something with sage.  So I pulled out one of my favorite recipes for banana bread and reshaped it into delicious sweet-savory muffins. 

These rocked.  If you're a sage fan, give these a try - it really brings the flavor of the berries to the forefront without crowding them.  I had a hard time refraining from eating all of them in one sitting, but I kept it together and ate a respectable number (only two, I swear) and saved the rest to share with friends. 

Swirled Blackberry Sage Banana Muffins
Makes about 16 - 18 muffins

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas
1.5 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup sorghum flour
2/3 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 - 2 tbsp. ground dried sage, depending on your own taste (I used 2 tbsp.)
1 cup blackberries, either chopped into small chunks and stirred in, or pureed and swirled on top of each muffin

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Line two muffin trays with 18 paper liners or spray with cooking spray.

Combine the wet ingredients together and stir well.  In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sage and sift together. Add to the wet ingredients and mix well.

Now you have two choices - you can either add chunks of blackberries to your muffins, or you can puree the blackberries and swirl them in.  I swirled, but I can't say it would be a bad idea at all to swirl AND add whole chunks.  But do what you feel is right for your muffins.  If you're adding chunks, chop up the berries and add them to the batter, stir lightly, and then spoon even amounts into the paper liners.

If you're swirling, puree the blackberries in a food processor.  If desired, push the mixture through a sieve to get the seeds out (but it's not really necessary).  Add about 1 tbsp. of blackberry puree to each muffin and swirl around in the batter using a knife or fork.  If desired, sprinkle the top of each muffin with a little more dried sage.

Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or just until they are slightly browned and spring back when you push down on them.  Remove from the oven and let sit in the hot pan for another 2 - 3 minutes until they firm up, then remove them carefully and place on a wire rack to cool.  Serve warm or cold - they are delicious either way!  Store leftovers in the fridge until ready to serve.


Marcella said...

Claire I love your blog! I worked with Lisa at WU and I remember her talking about you navigating the gluten free world. At that point I had no idea I would be in the same boat. My daughter has a wheat intolerance so I've been baking with all kinds of flour and xanthum gum too. I'll bookmark your blog.

Thanks for your beautiful blog!

Desi@ThePalatePeacemaker said...

Claire, these are BEAUTIFUL! I would never think to put sage in a muffin, either. So curious to try out this unique blend of flavors... Thanks for this lovely recipe!

Claire Berman said...

@Marcella - So nice to hear from you! And isn't it funny how things work out - who knew? I hope that you and your daughter will like some of the recipes on my blog - I'm so glad I can share them with you. Thanks for the comment, and take care!

@Desi - Thank you so much! Sometimes the most unexpected flavors can work so well. I hope you like them! :)

gluten free gift said...

Claire - I LOVE that you reported on how well you restrained yourself...I cannot bake a cake without eating the whole thing - or a batch of cookies. Two is a very respectable number :). Thrilled to have found your blog. I've been doing gluten free for a record 40 years and have just started a blog to celebrate the anniversary. Hope you'll check it out! I'd be honoured to be included on your blogroll too. Grazie!! Claudine

Claire Berman said...

Hi Claudine - I just checked out your blog and loved it, and you're now part of my blogroll! I totally understand the "lack of willpower" problem...sometimes (often?) I don't even wait for it to cool. Bakers should not live alone :) Thanks for visiting my blog and for leaving your comment!