One of my favourite ways to spend a Saturday morning in the summertime is a trip to the farmer's market. I like to pop down as soon as the market opens to pick up a few ingredients for the weekend, and maybe a few fresh-baked treats to take home for breakfast.
My local market at Withrow Park may not be quite as impressive as the larger markets in Toronto like the Brickworks or St Lawrence, but the handful of vendors selling fresh produce can always be counted on to bring a few unique locally-grown options that I can't find at the supermarket.
So far this year, I've scored bundles of fresh garlic scapes, tender baby leaves of red-veined sorrel, elegant white-tipped French breakfast radishes, sweet peas, and my newest obsession - tubs of gorgeous dark purple haskap berries from Farmer Jay at Danbrie Farms.
Honestly, I could happily just snack on these little purple jewels all day long, but the season is short and I wanted to find ways to make it last a little longer. So I've been playing around with a few ideas to keep them going long after the season is done.
The first of my experiments was these tender little sour cream muffins flavoured with just a little lemon zest and dotted all over with berries. They're light and fluffy and not too sweet, which makes them perfect for a quick weekday breakfast. You can make them with fresh berries, like I did, but they also work with frozen berries.
What's a Haskap Berry, Anyway?
Haskap is the name given to several varieties of edible honeyberries bred by the University of Saskatchewan over the last 15 years or so, which makes them an honest-to-goodness Canadian invention.
They look like a long, skinny blueberry, but they're actually more closely related to elderberries. They're soft-skinned and quite juicy, and have a sweet and surprisingly tangy flavour, kind of like a cross between a blueberry and a cranberry.
Haskap season runs from late June to mid-July, but fresh berries can be frozen for use at a later date.
To freeze, spread the berries out in a single layer on a baking sheet or jelly-roll pan, and pop into the freezer for a couple hours or until frozen all the way through, then transfer to a large freezer bag or airtight container. They'll keep in the freezer for up to a year.
Cooking with Haskaps
You can use haskaps pretty much anywhere you'd use fresh blueberries or other fresh summer berries, though in some recipes you may want to add a little extra sugar to compensate for their tartness.
Try them as a filling in pies or crumbles, stir them into your favourite cake or muffin recipe, add them to a smoothie, or cook them down into a simple sauce and then drizzle onto pancakes, ice cream or pretty much anything else your heart desires.
For a little extra inspiration, here are a few delicious ideas from other bloggers:
- Haskap Berry Hand Pies from Sugarlovespices
- Haskap Berry Tarts from Shifting Roots
- Haskap Sauce from My Island Bistro Kitchen
- Haskap Maple Whiskey Jam from Uncanny Preserves
Sour Cream Muffins with Haskap Berries
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 12 muffins 1x
These sour cream muffins are fluffy and not too sweet, perfect for showing off the tangy flavour of fresh haskap berries. You can also substitute fresh blueberries, raspberries or strawberries if you can't get your hands on haskaps.
- 1 ¾ cups flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup full-fat sour cream
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh haskap berries
- Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease the cups of a 12-cup muffin tin, or line with paper liners.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine the sour cream, egg, milk, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients, stirring until just barely combined. Fold in the haskap berries.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups. (The cups should be roughly ¾ full.) Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until tops are golden-brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
You can also make these muffins using frozen berries, if that's what you have on hand. Add them straight from the freezer, and add an extra 5 minutes of baking time to compensate for the temperature difference.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Canadian
Delicious. I made them just as the recipe directed. My family is planning to plant 100 haskaps on our farm this fall. Looking forward to more and more of these muffins!
Arlene Steele says
I found the batter surprisingly dry. I persisted and
did not add anything.....they were fabulous!
This must have been made with sifted flour, I tried to compensate for the uneven ingredients, by adding more of everything else. Fingers crossed it turns out okay.
Could the sour cream be replaced with a thick Greek yogurt? Thanks
Isabelle Boucher says
Good question, CJ! You can use Greek yogurt in lieu of the sour cream, but make sure you're using a full fat yogurt and save the low/no-fat yogurt for your smoothies. Because there's no oil or butter in this recipe, you're relying on the fat from the sour cream (or yogurt!) to keep these muffins soft and fluffy.
Megan March says
If I were to make this recipe again I would reduce the flour and add some oil or cream - it needs a bit more liquid. I don't use a lot of sugar in my baking but 1/4 cup was not enough for this recipe.
Isabelle Boucher says
I'm sorry to hear this one didn't work out for you, Megan. You can definitely increase the sugar in this recipe based on your preference.
Farmers markets are the best! I have never seen haskap berries here in BC, but from your description they sound delicious and I'm dying to try them. I wonder if they would be easier to find when I visit my sister in Winnipeg? Wonderful muffins!
I live in the Okanagan and this year found a few growers. A few in Salmon Arm and one in Vernon :)
Nicoletta De Angelis Nardelli says
Love these muffins! Love the sour cream in the batter, they seem extra moist and flavorful! Haskaps are a wonderful discovery of the last few years. They are good also in savory dishes, Loreto made a mole with them. Thank you for including our link to your post!
These muffins are such a good change-up from your typical blueberry muffin. Delish!
I've lived away from Canada now for 22 years and didn't know about the Haskap berries and now I know why! They sound delicious and the muffins look wonderful. And I'm with you on farmers markets at the weekends!