Poor brown-spotted banana sitting all alone in the big produce bowl in my kitchen. What can I do with such a sad little fellow? We always seem to leave a banana behind as everyone grabs for one a the peak of their favorite ripeness and then my family grows sick of that fruit and moves on to oranges, apples, or whatever graces the fruit bowl. For a time, I skinned and wrapped the leftovers and tossed them in the freezer in hopes of collecting them later and making a recipe. The only thing I ended up doing later on was throwing out freezer-burnt bags of mush of unknown vintage. So I had this one banana and I was hungry for breakfast so I made Lonely Banana Walnut Muffins.
Here is the recipe and it should be mixed by hand with a fork (no need for the heavy machinery here!). If you like whole wheat flour that will work fine. If you would rather use brown sugar-go ahead. No buttermilk-no problem use whole milk. Keep this recipe handy and honor the lonely banana!
Lonely Banana Muffins
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 very ripe banana
1/2 Stick butter
1/4 cup butter milk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
pinch of ground cinnamon
6 cup muffin tin and no-stick spray or a bit of butter to grease the pan
Melt butter in a two-cup measuring cup or a small bowl (measuring cup is great because you can use it to gather all the wet ingredients and pour into the dry later). In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon and stir with a fork. To the melted butter add buttermilk, egg, banana and mash the mixture together with a fork. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry and stir with (you guessed it) a fork. If there are little lumps and no flour showing when you finish mixing, you have done it right. Stir in the walnuts gently. Pour into muffin tin and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until risen and nicely brown.
Considering that we are two months away from strawberry season in New England, I made some pretty darn delicious strawberry vanilla preserves from California berries. Oh hush my fellow local food lovers! This would not be something I would ever do when the farmers market and my garden are brimming with the scent of ripe berries but I needed to perfect a recipe for my canning class and pioneer spirited women must make do with what was available.
Early Tuesday morning I did a baking sprint, preparing muffins, brownies, honey cornbread, and chocolate chip squares for a meeting where I was also presenting. The way I viewed it, if my talk bored the folks, at least they would be able to munch on tasty treats to quell the ennui.
I started making the simple buttery muffins that I fill with lemon curd but when I finished the batter I realized that I had run out of homemade curd (someone had eaten the last bit and I am afraid it might just have been me). I spotted the strawberry jam waiting patiently to be enjoyed and I swept it from the fridge and spooned a bit into each muffin. The results were splendid!
The meeting resulted in some excellent business conversations and leads and several requests for the recipe for my strawberry jam filled muffins.
Strawberry Stuffed Muffins
1 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of cinnamon
Heat oven to 350 degrees
Grease a 12 cup muffin tin or line with paper baking cups
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large bowl
Mix eggs, milk, cooled melted butter together
Pour egg mixture into dry ingredients, mix until combined but do not over mix
Let batter stand for five minutes and then scoop into prepared muffin tin
Tuck about a teaspoon of strawberry preserves into each muffin
Bake for about 20 minutes until risen and light brown around edges
Serve warm or cool