Flour is the most divine cookbook, isn't it? I'd like to do a Julie/Julia thing with it, but I know my limitations. :) On the other hand, I often turn to Joanne Chang for ideas and inspiration.
Recently I was reading Food 52 (which I hope you know about and at least read if you haven't joined) and someone had made an adaptation of Chang's Raspberry Rhubarb muffins. Because I have that treasured copy of Flour I looked it up to see what changes were made. I liked both the adaptations: browning the butter can't help but improve the flavor of the muffins and the Food 52 recipe used buttermilk instead of Chang's milk. Sounded good to me.
I've always thought Chang's use of crème fraiche in her batter was a clever idea so I didn't hesitate to combine that with the buttermilk. I didn't have any rhubarb, so I added an extra half cup of raspberries. (BTW, the Food 52 recipe is HERE.)
Not too sweet, which I like in a muffin, and they were moist and tender. Served warm with butter, you can't beat them for Sunday brunch. If you have rhubarb in your garden, use a cup of fresh raspberries and a cup of chopped fresh rhubarb.
Chang suggests filling the muffin liners right to the top and the image displayed in the book has HUGE overflowing muffin tops. Like mushrooms. I decided to use two kinds of paper liners that are deeper than normal, so only filled mine 3/4 full. They could have taken a bit more. So if you're using regular liners, fill them almost to the top.
Joanne Chang's Raspberry Muffins
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 cup crème fraiche, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
1 egg yolk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
Melt the butter and allow to brown. Watch carefully, as it burns quickly after a certain point. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350°. Line your muffin tin with paper liners.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, mix the sugar, buttermilk and crème fraiche. Add the eggs and egg yolk and mix until blended. Then add the browned butter and vanilla bean paste.
Fold in the flour mixture and add the raspberries when it is still not completely combined. Mix until all the dry ingredients are gone, but do not overmix.
Spoon into your muffin cups and bake for about 25 minutes or until a baking tester comes out clean. This recipe made 12 muffins.
Cool on a rack, if you can bear to allow them to cool! :)