Blackberry Goat Cheese Muffins with Lemon Sugar & Thyme
Craving black fruits and the creamy tang of chevre, I baked despite the heat. Blackberry Goat Cheese Muffins finished with Lemon Sugar and accents of thyme, are fresh and sharp. They make a brilliant breakfast or brunch accent and yet they’re still sweet enough to be a treat.
Fruit pairs so well with soft cheese, I thought I’d try it in a muffin form. Blackberry Goat Cheese Muffins just wasn’t snazzy enough so I added add a hint of herb with a bunch of leggy thyme and the sweet acidity of lemon zest mixed with coarse sugar. In love with the results. Another recipe for the baking archives.
In my years as innkeeper at Nova Scotia’s Dragonfly Inn baking muffins daily, I found a few great techniques that brought me solid results. Do your blueberries stain your muffins purple? I can fix that.
Gypsy Muffin Tip: When using fresh or frozen berries in muffins, separate a couple tablespoons of the dry ingredients when mixed and, in a separate bowl, toss your fruit with the dry mix to coat it well. This will keep your fruit from bleeding when incorporated into the wet batter and maintain the juices in tight, colourful packages of punctuated flavour. Use this technique with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, lingonberries, currents, Saskatoon berries, blackberries and frozen cranberries (fresh cranberries are pretty tough little suckers and don’t bleed much). Bake well!
- ½ cup goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup blackberries, cut in half lengthwise
- 2½ cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 1 cup buttermilk (or buttermilk substitute, see notes)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- ¼ cup coarse sugar
- zest of one lemon
- Lemon Sugar:
- Zest lemon on a fine cheese grater, being sure to remove very little pith with the yellow lemon zest. Combine with coarse sugar in a small bowl then let stand in the fridge until needed.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C) and prepare muffin pan with either non-stick spray or parchment baking liners.
- Combine dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and lemon zest in a large-ish mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Place cut blackberries in a smaller bowl and measure two or three tablespoons of the flour mix over berries and toss to gently mix and coat, then reserve.
- Break eggs into small bowl and whisk lightly then add to dry ingredients along with buttermilk and melted butter. Fold a couple of times with a spatula or wooden spoon. Then add flour-coated berries, goat cheese and thyme and gently fold until JUST combined. Portion evenly into waiting muffin pan.
- Top with lemon sugar and bake at 400°F (205°C) for 20 – 25 minutes or until tester comes out clean and muffin tops are golden brown.