Create Your Own: Seasonal Fruit Muffins

Summary

Practice baking skills with this flexible recipe for seasonal fruit muffins! In this lesson, you will make muffins and learn about the muffin method for baking.

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Materials
  • See the​ Create Your Own: Seasonal Fruit Muffin visual to determine what materials you will use. 
  • PLEASE NOTE: the recipe left out the section on adding 1/2 of fat (vegetable oil or melted butter) please add that to the wet ingredients.   
Vocabulary
  • Flexible recipe: a recipe that is adaptable, easily changed
  • In season: The product can be found at the market and is being harvested locally
Do

Complete the ​Create Your Own: Seasonal Fruit Muffin process by following each step and making your own choices.

Read

Our seasonal fruit muffin recipe directs you to use the “muffin method” where you mix wet ingredients in one bowl and dry ingredients in another. You then combine the wet with dry, mixing as little as possible. You might be wondering why mix dry and wet separately? Read on to learn more.

  • When a liquid is introduced to wheat flour, two proteins combine to form gluten. Mixing strengthens gluten, which makes for a more elastic and chewy texture. For bread baking, this is great! However, baked goods like muffins and cakes overmixing can cause the finished product to be gummy instead of fluffy.
  • Mixing the dry ingredients first and then doing the same with the wet ingredients allows  you to do minimal mixing after combining the two. The less you mix the flour with liquid, the less the gluten can develop.
  • Wondering why the recipe treats sugar as a “wet” ingredient, considering it’s dry? In addition to sugar providing a sweet taste, it also tenderizes which helps achieve a flaky and tender texture. For sugar to do that, it needs to dissolve in a liquid. By adding sugar to wet ingredients, you can achieve a tender texture without overmixing.
Student Notes
  • Share your recipes with us! We would love to see photos of your seasonal fruit muffins and share them on our social media platforms! If you would like to share pictures or videos with us, please ask permission from a parent or guardian. Send your photos to learning@edibleschoolyard.org or post on your own (or your parent’s) social media accounts tag @edibleschoolyard in the picture and use the hashtag #EdibleEdatHome
  • Extend this lesson by learning about these related topics:
    • Do you want to learn more about flexible recipes and recipe reading generally? Check out our lesson on How To: Read a Recipe.
    • Want to learn more about wheat flour? Check out our lesson All About Flour to learn about flour varieties, milling, and so much more!
    • What fruit did you choose for your muffin? Learn about that fruit by checking out the USDA’s Seasonal Produce Guide. Find your fruit and complete a 3, 2, 1 reflection by answering questions about your fruit. Write down three facts, phrases, or ideas discussed in the text. Write two things you found interesting about the text. Write down one question you have after reading the text.
    • This recipe’s seasonal fruit options reflect California’s growing seasons. But depending on where you are, what is in season will be different. Explore the seasonality charts of different parts of the Country:  California, Northeast, Florida. Pick a couple of different fruits and compare and contrast between regions.
Reference

Baking Using The Muffin Method (2014, March 13). Escoffier Culinary School. Retrieved from https://www.escoffieronline.com/baking-using-the-muffin-method/

Crops in Season. (n.d). Florida Department of Agriculture. Retrieved from https://www.fdacs.gov/Consumer-Resources/Buy-Fresh-From-Florida/Crops-in-Season

Geiger, B. (n.d). Fine Cooking. Retrieved from https://www.finecooking.com/article/how-is-sugar-wet

Mixing Dough or Batter: Wet into Dry or Dry into Wet?. Cooks Illustrated. Retrieved from https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/6522-mixing-dough-or-batter-wet-into-dry-or-dry-into-wet

Seasonality Chart: Fruits and Nuts (n.d). CUESA.  Retrieved from https://cuesa.org/eat-seasonally/charts/fruit

Watson, M. (2019, August 27). A Monthly Guide to the Northeast's Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables. Spruce Eats. Retrieved from https://www.thespruceeats.com/seasonal-fruits-and-vegetables-of-the-northeast-4165314

What’s in Season Now. (n.d). USDA. Retrieved from https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/seasonal-produce-guide

Disclaimer: All videos and references are used for educational purposes only. The Edible Schoolyard Project does not endorse any brands, labels, organizations, or businesses included in videos or references.  

Notes for Teachers and Parents
  • This activity supports students to be more confident in cooking.
  • This activity allows students to customize their projects and work with the materials they have at home.
  • This lesson is an excellent pre-lesson or extension for learning about seasonal growing. Check out this recommended source for some lessons on local and seasonal foods.

Authored by Raquel Vigil