When the dust had settled on the July 4th weekend a few weeks back and people had packed their bags and left town, I took a few moments to peruse my fridge and various coolers for left-overs that had to be put to use. It turns out that I did pretty well packing up goodies for everyone to take with so that I wasn't left with too much to plow through here. Big slabs of cake, containers of carnitas, and various cheeses, dips and spreads all got wrapped up for road trips. One thing we missed however, was a single crisper drawer just loaded with fresh fruit.
Some I immediately cleaned, prepped and tossed into the freezer for use later in smoothies, and some was used over the subsequent days as toppings on breakfast cereal or yogurt. In the end, all I had left were a couple of cups of deliciously sweet blueberries that I decided to bake up in these tasty bran muffins. Those of you that have been with us a while may recognize these muffins as those by Nancy Silverton that I posted in the dark ages of Oui, Chef. These are those same exact muffins just with some fresh blueberries tossed in, and dang were they good!
Cheers – Steve
- 2 cups unprocessed bran
- 1 1/2 cups raisins
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon orange zest, finely minced
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 extra-large egg
- 1 extra-large egg white
- 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups blueberries, tossed with 2 teaspoons flour (to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the muffins)
- Heat the oven to 350℉ and position a rack in the middle. Lightly coat the cups of a 1/2 cup muffin tin with cooking spray, and set aside.
- Spread the bran on a rimmed cookie sheet and place in the oven for 7-8 minutes to toast, stir once about half-way through to prevent burning. When done, pour the bran into a large mixing bowl.
- Combine 1 cup of the raisins and 1 cup of the water in a small saucepan and simmer on low heat until all the water is absorbed. Place the raisins in a blender or food processor and puree.
- To the bowl of bran, add the buttermilk, the remaining 1/2 cup of water, the orange zest, the raisin puree, and the brown sugar, stir to combine. Add the oil, egg and egg white, and mix to incorporate. Sift in the flours with the baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the remaining whole raisins and blueberries and stir gently to combine.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling the cups to just over the rims and mounding the batter slightly in the center.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until the muffins are well set and firm to the touch.