Wild strawberry muffins

Wild strawberry muffins

On one side of our house, wild strawberries are set on world domination.

The little white flowers are so delicate, but they tend to pop up in unlikely places – like bang in the middle of the garden path.

Wild strawberry plant right in the middle of the garden path

They lull you into a false sense of security and then – kapow – they spread.

Fraction of the all-encompassing wild strawberry plants at the side of the house

Looking on the bright side, last week I did manage to nip out and pick a bowl of teeny tiny wild strawberries before the birds stripped the lot.

Whole bowl of wild strawberries. May look small, but it took a while.

Once picked, I was keen to find a recipe that would stretch them as far as possible. Wild strawberries have a more delicate and less sweet taste than normal strawberries, so I was pretty sure the children wouldn’t eat them unaccompanied.

In the end, thanks to the wonders of Google, I found a quick and easy blueberry muffin recipe by St Mary of Berry to tweak.

The recipe only uses a limited amount of sugar, so the end result is quite light but not super sweet. It also uses vegetable oil rather than butter or marge, but give it a whirl, they still taste good.

I took a batch along when we went to visit friends at the weekend, and they disappeared almost as fast as they hit the cakestand. I’ll count that as a success.

WILD STRAWBERRY MUFFINS

Golden brown muffins, cooling on a rack



Ingredients
250g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
150g caster sugar
175ml milk
150ml vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
90g wild strawberries (or blueberries or whatever you fancy)

Quantities
12 muffins, if you use great big muffin cases. I managed to eke out 24 in small size cupcake cases.

Cost
5p each for 24, 10p for 12, plus the cost of the fruit. The wild strawberries from our garden were free.
Based on: Morrisons for 1.5kg Savers Plain Flour for 45p, 170g Dr Oetker Baking Powder for £1.31, 1kg Caster Sugar for £1.48, 2.27 litres milk for £1, 1 litre vegetable oil for £1.20, 15 mixed-weight free-range eggs for £2.
I use pricey Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract, which costs £5.55 for 118ml from Lakeland, although it’s currently £4.53 in Waitrose. You only need to use small amounts for a great taste, so it lasts for ages.

Method
1. Line a muffin tray or couple of cupcake trays with paper cases, depending on which size you use.
2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / gas mark 4.
3. Weigh out the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and sugar) in a mixing bowl.
4. Measure the milk and oil in a measuring jug, then add the vanilla extract and eggs, and whip it all up a bit with a fork.
5. Pour the liquid from the measuring jug into the dry ingredients, and stir together with a metal spoon until smooth. It makes quite a sloppy mix.
6. Remember to add the wild strawberries, blueberries or whatever fruit you fancy, and mix together.
7. Divide the batter between the paper cases, filling about two thirds full.
8. Bung in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the muffins look golden brown and the top bounces back when touched lightly.
9. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
10. Beat back raiding children so you actually get a few for yourself.

Aga cooking
Using our elderly Aga, I put the tray on top of a rack on the bottom of the roasting oven, with the cold shelf above on runners about half way up.
Once one tray was cooked, I took the cold shelf out and ran it under the tap to cool it down (oven gloves are essential!!), then replaced it and cooked the second tray.
Yes, this is more faff than a fan oven. Sigh.

Anyone else got a recipe using wild strawberries to recommend?

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7 Comments

  1. The 3-year challenge
    13th July 2016 / 1:41 pm

    None as I am not a cook (yet) but your muffins actually make me salivate !! They must be so fragrant !

    • 14th July 2016 / 8:32 am

      The muffins went down very well. They're really easy, worth giving them a try.

  2. 14th July 2016 / 5:30 am

    In Pimms??
    Or on a tart with other strawberries?

    My daughter is actively encouraging world domination by our wild strawberry plants. I have grand plans for a preserve but I doubt they'll make it as far as the kitchen!

    • 14th July 2016 / 8:34 am

      Ooooh any excuse for Pimms, great idea. I really like the idea of wild strawberry jam too, but looking at how long it took to pick so little, I ended up settling on muffins. Good luck with your harvest!

  3. 24th July 2016 / 11:29 am

    You can buy tins of pre-prepared strawberry jam syrup very reasonably from Lakeland, I would tip all the wild strawberries into it. As it is very sweet and the little berries not so, they would balance the jam out wonderfully and you would have a lovely chunky jam with whole tiny strawberries. You pay a lot for brands that include whole tiny strawberries!

    • 26th July 2016 / 4:34 am

      Excellent idea and a great excuse for a trip to Lakeland!

  4. 4th July 2018 / 7:59 am

    Cool idea to use the wild strawberries off your garden. There are some really interesting berry recipes in our website if you want to check them out. I would recommend to turn them into a smoothie with almond milk and a banana or to make a raw vegan berry chocolate cheesecake.