Monday, September 14, 2009

A Fine Druplet

It's raspberry season here in the Midwest. What? In September? Don't all the cookbooks say that raspberries come to market in July? Well, they do. But here in the midwest, they have a second season, a new wave, shall we say. Many raspberry connoisseurs (including my little locavore) consider this second crop to be the finer and sweeter of the two.

I created the following recipe last summer for a kids' class that I taught for Whole Foods at the Lincoln Park Zoo. I love talking with kids about berries. Not only do they love them, but there are so many fun facts to share. The best fact about raspberries is that they are a druplet, a cluster of fruits, like a bunch of grapes. So each of the little bubbles is a fruit in and of itself. Kids love that!

Raspberry Corn Muffins
Makes 12

1 cup finely ground cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
½ cup agave nectar
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
½ stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup raspberries

Preheat the oven to 350º F. Fill a muffin tin with the muffin cups. Mix together cornmeal, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together the eggs, agave nectar, buttermilk and butter in an another bowl. Combine the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients until incorporated. Gently fold the raspberries into the batter. Divide the batter equally between the muffin liners. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. To test whether the muffins are done, insert a skewer or toothpick into the top. If it comes out with just a few crumbs, it’s done. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Kids Cooking Tips

Because this recipe was developed for a kids cooking class, all the steps can be accomplished with little hands. Parents are in charge of the oven.

Cornmeal from Three Sisters
Eggs from Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm
Buttermilk from Farmers Creamery
Butter from Organic Valley
Raspberries from Ellis

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