Double Berry Oat Muffins

I like having muffins on hand for breakfast.  Typically, I’ll make a batch and we will eat some fresh.  The rest go into the freezer for days that we’ve tired of the usual breakfast fare. 

Muffins freeze well, thaw fairly quickly, and are easy to grab on the go.  Hearty muffins like bran or oatmeal top my list of favorites.  When I realized it was time to restock our freezer I started thinking about my options.

Last year, I froze a bunch of blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries to use throughout the winter months.  I guard them pretty closely because I don’t relish the thought of paying outrageous prices for berries that never seem to taste nearly as good as those you get locally when they are in season.

A peek in the freezer confirmed my suspicions, my stock of raspberries was nearly gone, but there were still a lot of blueberries stock piled in there.  This is what led me to come up with today’s recipe.

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Double Berry Oat Muffins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  (This recipe made 15 muffins)  Heavily spray muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

1/3 c. butter, softened

1 egg, room temperature

3/4 c. light brown sugar

1 c. heavy cream

1 c. oatmeal, quick cook

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 c. red raspberries

11/2 c. blueberries

Double Berry Oat Muffin Topping

1/4 c. oatmeal, quick cook

1/4 c. light brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

In a large bowl, add butter, egg, brown sugar; mix thoroughly.  Pour in heavy cream, oatmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; mix well.  Fold in berries.

In a separate bowl, mix oat topping ingredients.

Fill each muffin tin about 2/3 full and sprinkle with prepared topping.  Bake for about 18-20 minutes.

Remove pans from the oven.  Take a sharp knife and run it around the edge of each muffin.  Allow the muffins to cool completely before removing from pans. 

These muffin are sweet, yet they have a hint of tart flavor that comes from using the raspberries.  I like how the berries compliment each other.   *Note – these muffins are not your best choice for a grab and go option because although they are very tasty, they are also very tender and crumble easily.

Even breakfast skippers will be tempted by these muffins.

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Red Raspberry Custard Pie with Vanilla Crumb Crust

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Last weekend I bought a vintage cookbook titled Good Housekeeping’s Party Pie Book for .25 cents.  What a buy!  The book was copyrighted in 1958 and the condition of the book would imply that it was used frequently.  I always consider wear and tear  a sign of a good book.

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Just purchasing the book encouraged me to make a pie.   I  made an Old-Fashioned Blueberry Custard Pie last summer and I loved everything about it.   I decided since that was such a hit I’d make a red raspberry custard pie this time around.

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I picked a pie crust recipe out of the Good Housekeeping’s Party Pie Book and the custard recipe is from Food.com.

Vanilla Crumb Crust:

Makes one 9” crust

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1 1/3 cups vanilla wafer crumbs

1/4 c. margarine or butter, softened

In small bowl, add vanilla wafer crumbs and margarine.  Mix with a fork until well blended.  Press into pie plate with a spoon, or by hand.

Bake for 8 minutes.  Cool prior to using.

Raspberry Custard Pie Filling:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2 c. raspberries, fresh or frozen

1 c. sugar

1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 c. evaporated milk

3 large eggs, beaten

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 pinch of nutmeg

1 pinch of cinnamon

Place berries in the bottom of  the crust; set aside.  In medium bowl, mix flour and sugar.  Gradually add milk; stir until smooth.  Whisk in eggs, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon.  Pour into pie crust covering berries.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for additional 35 minutes, or until knife comes out clean when inserted into the center of the pie.

I have made the custard filling once with evaporated milk, and once with skim milk, and I did notice a difference between the two.  I think the skim milk separated a bit more, where the evaporated did not.  I actually liked the flavor of the custard made with the skim  better than the evaporated milk.  The next time I make  a custard pie I will use a half of cup of each and see if it balances everything out.  One other  recommendation;  use a pie crust shield around the edge of the crust to prevent over browning. 

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I’m sold on custard with fruit pies.  They are so tasty and simple to make. 

I recently won a Cuisinart stick blender with a chopper attachment in a cool recipe contest hosted by  BeBetsy.com.  I used the chopper to grind up the vanilla wafers for this pie crust.  It was so powerful and really got the job done.  I guess that gives me an excuse to make more pies – doesn’t it?

Sharing this delicious pie over at Tidy Mom’s – I’m Lovin it Friday’s!  Check out all of the great entries posted there.

Raspberry Coffee Cake and Our Movie Star Friend

One of our friends brought us a huge bowl of fresh raspberries the other day.  I was full of gratitude.  I hadn’t baked in a while, the house was running on empty where sweets were concerned, and I had been trying to decide what to make for the last couple of days.  The raspberries made my decision simple; a fresh, sour cream based, raspberry coffee cake was in order. 

Now I have to tell you a little secret about the friend that delivered the berries to us.  He’s a bit of a movie star.  When I first met him I had no clue.  He didn’t immediately look familiar to me until he told me he was the “hot dog guy” in the movie Sleepers.  Suddenly, I was putting two and two together.

For some reason, I  never enjoyed the movie Sleepers.  It  was disturbing, focusing on physical and sexual abuse of young boys sentenced to a Juvenile Home in Upstate New York, by the guards that supervised them.  There were only two things I could particularly remember about the movie at the time George told us he starred in it.   One, was that Kevin Bacon played one of the most sinister characters of his career in that movie, and the other was the scene involving the boys prank with the hot dog vendor and his cart. It wasn’t the big names ( Brad Pitt, Robert Di Niro, Minnie Driver, Dustin Hoffman) that left me with a lasting impression of this movie – it was George Georgiadis’ appearance that did.  

George also appeared in other a few other movies and television shows before leaving his acting career to move to the Finger Lakes Region of New York, where he now runs his own construction business, and grows fresh raspberries (Thank God!).  If you want to see the best scene of the movie – starring none other than George, click on the link “hot dog guy” above. 

Okay, enough about movie stars.  Onto the star of this post.  Raspberry Coffee Cake…..

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Cake Recipe:

1/2 c. margarine, softened

2 eggs, room temperature

1 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. sour cream

1 1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. vanilla

1 tbsp. prepared cinnamon & sugar

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 3/4 c. fresh raspberries

Topping Recipe: 

1/2 c. quick cook oatmeal

1/2 tsp. prepared cinnamon & sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream all ingredients except flour and raspberries in a large bowl.  Once creamy, add flour.  Fold in berries.  In a separate bowl mix oats and cinnamon and sugar mixture – set aside.

Pour batter into a greased 7″x9″ baking pan.  Sprinkle topping on batter.  Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes clean when inserted in center.  Cool before cutting.  Makes about 12 pieces of cake.

ENJOY!