Summer Berry Muffins-Perfect for Mothers’ Day Brunch

“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child” -Sophia Loren

This is the weekend that we celebrate our mothers, our grandmothers and our children. We celebrate the joy that unconditional love can bring. Our mothers are the ones who are there for us no matter what. They stand beside us in times of trouble; they encourage us to find our dreams; and they help us to face our fears. Mothers will sacrifice everything so their children can have what they need.

They are resourceful, thoughtful, loving, warm, strong, intelligent, wise and the centre of our worlds.

I come from a line of very strong women. After being widowed at a young age, my grandmother raised 8 children on her own. She managed to help them all become successful adults while maintaining a home, a business and a career as a nurse. She expressed her creativity through quilting and cooking.  My grandmother passed away when I was 6 years old. My fondest memory of her was hiding under her stretched quilts when I was about 4 years old and peeking up to watch her as she meticulously stitched each layer together by hand.

My mother was the rock in our family. She spent every day making sure that we would be well equipped to deal with the world on our own, while still offering a safe haven to learn. She taught us, cared for us when we were sick and loved us even when we didn’t love ourselves. My mother has also been an amazing grandmother to my children who adore her.

Now there is a new generation of moms in my family. My youngest daughter has an adorable son and a baby girl due this June. She has found her grounding and her passion in motherhood and is amazing with her son. I am so proud to see the mother that she has become.

“There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.”- Jill Churchhill

I dedicate this muffin recipe to Moms everywhere.

Summer Berry Muffins

Makes 12 medium sized muffins

Ingredients

1 cup mixed summer berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
2 ½ cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ cup superfine sugar
Pinch of salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten
¾ cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. light brown sugar

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a muffin pan with 12 paper cases. Mix together berries. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the butter, egg, buttermilk, and vanilla.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour in the buttermilk mixture, and add the mixed berries. Stir just until combined and divide among the muffin cases. Sprinkle the top with brown sugar and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and well risen.

These muffins are best served warm or at room temperature in the day of baking.

Recipe from The Meat Free Monday Cookbook

Mixed Berry Galette


SUNDAY SWEETS

This is a lazy weekend. Maybe it is because I have been running around so much these past few months. So much so; that the winter has passed me by in a mere blink. I plan to spend my Sunday cooking and spending time with my children. My three daughters are all adults now so spending time with them is like spending time with friends.

I also have one grandson who is 14 months old. He is so adorable. He just has to smile at me and I am putty in his hands. One of my close friends refers to him as the little man in my life and I just laugh.

I continue to work on my baking skills even though I am busy. I want to look back on this year as the year that I rediscovered my love of baking. Of course; I will continue to try out some unique and delicious cooking recipes, as well.

This recipe is from Baking With Julia, a cookbook written by Dorie Greenspan that features recipes from the television series by the same name. Julia Child described it as “a remarkably full course in the art of baking”. Thank you Julia and thank you Dorie for this lovely book.

Mixed Berry Galette

Ingredients

½ recipe Galette Dough, chilled
1 ½ cups mixed fresh berries (I used blackberries, blueberries and raspberries)
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. honey
1 tbsp. cold unsalted butter

Directions

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put the dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll into an 11-inch circle that is about 1/8 inch thick. Since the dough is soft, you will need to lift it now and then and toss some more flour under it and over the top. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

Spread the berries over the dough, leaving a 2 to 3 inch border. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the sugar over the fruit and drizzle with honey. Cut the butter into slivers and scatter it on top of the fruit. Fold the uncovered border of the dough over the filling, allowing the dough to pleat as you Iift it up and work your way around the galette. Dip a pastry brush in water, give the edge of the crust a light coating, and sprinkle the crust with the remaining teaspoon of sugar.

Bake the galette for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and crisp. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the galette rest on the sheet for 10 minutes. Slip a wide spatula or a small baking sheet under the galette and slide it onto the cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, cutting the tart with a pizza wheel or a sharp knife.

The galette is best eaten the day that it is made.

Recipe from Baking With Julia written by Dorie Greenspan

Galette Dough

Ingredients

3 tbsp. sour cream (or yogurt or buttermilk)
1/3 cup ice water
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
7 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 to 8 pieces

Directions

Stir the sour cream and the ice water together in a small bowl, set aside.

Put the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade; pulse to combine.

Drop the butter pieces into the bowl and pulse 8 to 10 times, or until the mixture is speckled with pieces of butter that vary in size from bread crumbs to peas. With the machine running, add the sour cream mixture and process just until the dough forms soft, moist curds.

Remove the dough from the food processor, divide in half. And press each half into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours.

The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for a day or two, or it can be wrapped airtight and frozen for a month. Thaw, still wrapped, in the refrigerator. It is convenient to roll the dough into rounds, place parchment paper between each round, freeze them wrapped in plastic, this way you will need only 20 minutes to defrost a round at room temperature before it can be filled, folded into a galette and baked.

Recipe from Baking with Julia written by Dorie Greenspan