Ever since I tasted premium dried fruit I can't imagine going back to dusty old raisins in my muffins. Even if you can't find fresh dried fruit at one of the stands at your farmer's market, look for it your local stores. They are coming out with more varieties and better quality these days. Look for plump juicy fruit, Trader Joe's has a pretty good selection. This mix has peaches, both yellow and white, nectarines, plums and pluots of all colors, apricots, and really fat raisins, both purple and green.
I use a mix of oat and wheat bran in these muffins, and stuffed them full of fruit and nuts. There's nothing sorrier than a flat topped bran muffin, so make sure to fill your muffin cups full, even if it means leaving one empty.
I've been working on streamlining my recipes lately. I think that there are lots of extra steps in most recipes that can easily be cut out without harm. A lot of it is just not necessary, or it makes such a miniscule difference that it's not worth the extra effort. I found that even the process for these simple morning muffins that I've been making for years can be tweaked to result in less steps, less bowls, less trouble. Here goes---
Mixed Fruit and Nut Bran Muffins
makes 11 or 12 muffins
oven to 350
spray a 12 cup muffin pan, or fill with liners
3/4 cup wheat bran
3/4 cup oat bran
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
2/3 cups packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts, I used pecans, measured after chopping
heaping 1/2 cup mixed dried fruit, very roughly chopped
- Whisk together the brans and all of the above ingredients in a mixing bowl, making sure that the egg gets beaten as you whisk. Set aside for 10 minutes.
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
- Hold a sieve or mesh strainer over the bowl and sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the wet ingredients. Mix well.
- Fill 11 or 12 muffin cups nice and full.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out without batter clinging to it. Don't over bake.
- Cool slightly then remove the muffins from the tin and cool on a rack. They can be frozen after they've cooled, if you want, just wrap them individually, and well.
More Bran Muffins: