Friday, August 10, 2007

Bog bilberry (Vaccinium uliginosum), yummy muffins

Bog bilberry (Vaccinium uliginosum, sinikas or 'blue' berry in Estonian) is a close relative of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L., mustikas or 'black' berry in Estonian) and high-bush blueberry (Vaccinium Cyanococcus or V. corymbosum, kännasmustikas e. kultuurmustikas in Estonian). The first two can be distinguished by looking at their stems (brown for bog bilberries and green for bilberries) or leaves (blue-green for bog bilberries, green for bilberries) and by biting into the fruit (bog bilberries have a pinkish flesh, bilberries are blackish-purple throughout, blueberries are whitish-green inside). Also, the bog bilberry fruit is slightly oblong in shape, whereas bilberries are round, and blueberries round, but much larger than the first two.

Just so you'd know..

I made bog bilberry muffins, and took them along to my sister's and my two nephews' joint birthday party last Sunday. You cannot really see that from the picture, but I baked the muffins in football-print muffin cases. They were quite a hit amongst the 20-something small boys (and few girls) aged between 4 and 8, believe me. I'd like to think it wasn't just the cunningly chosen muffin papers :)

Bog bilberry muffins
(Sinika- või mustikamuffinid)
Makes 12

2 medium eggs
150 ml sugar
250 ml plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla sugar
1 tsp cardamom seeds (from about 20 pods), ground
150 grams sour cream or plain yogurt
50 grams butter, melted & cooled
200-300 ml bog bilberries (or bilberries or blueberries)

Whisk eggs with sugar until pale and frothy.
Mix the dry ingredients. Add to the egg mixture together with sour cream and melted butter. Fold in the forest berries.
Fill 12 hole muffin tray and bake at 225 C for 13-15 minutes, until muffins have risen and turned golden brown.

For more muffin ideas, check out Muffin Monday Round-Up # 5 where Wonder Sophie is gathering recipes for for Les Muffins Régressifs alias Childhood Muffins.

WHB: This is also my entry to the Weekend Herb Blogging, this time hosted by Melissa from Cooking Diva. Click on the logo below for more information about this established foodblogging event!


CookingDiva - Chef Melissa said...

Those muffins look delicious! Thank you for joining WHB#95!


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

If I ever come to Estonia, I hope you'll take me out into the wild to show me some of the wonderful berries and greens you find and cook with. I learn something new every time I visit this site!

David T. Macknet said...

It sounds fabulous! And mixing cardamom & blueberries is something I've never tried, but am going to, when I get settled again. Thanks for the recipe, and for the food history!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Pille, it's the first time I see this berry but I can tell the muffins are delicious!

Katie Zeller said...

I love the addition of cardamom and uogurt. They sound wonderful in any shape/wrapper...

K and S said...

I've never tried bilberries, they sound and look delicious!

Anonymous said...

They look delicious, Pille. I would love to go berry picking with you, but as I have a broken ankle & have to use crutches I think I'll have to wait for another time.

Anonymous said...

Last week I made some banana muffins with gooseberries. They turned out tasty, but bilberries would have probably been better...

Sunny said...

Ces muffins sont très appétissants! Et les photos sont superbes. Félicitations!

Mia said...

I've always left the bog bilberries (juolukka in Finnish, odon in Swedish) alone as they have a bit of a bland reputation (also because they grow in the ¤#!% mosquito-y part of the forest). Clearly I should reconsider!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Cardamon and these berries (any of them) would seem to be a hit in any wrapper! I've got to remember cardamon the next time I make blueberry muffins.
Look like wonderful lush muffins (yogurt is always so good in muffins) Pelli, Thanks.

Dagmar said...

They look lovely Pille! The combination of cardmom and blueberries sound very delicous and I will try it; myself I use vanilla and/or lemon.

Chris said...

Wow - I love when I learn about new foods - your muffins look beautiful!

Pille said...

Melissa - looking forward to the round-up!

Lydia - it's a deal! Just let me know when...

Davimack - you're welcome:)

Patricia, Katie, Chris - thank you!

K&S - they do remind me of bilberries & bluberries, but the flavour is a bit milder.

Pene - we might indeed go berry picking or mushroom hunting together one day - that'd be fun!

Rachel - you won't know until you try:)

Sunny - merci!

Deinin - you should indeed. They tasted great in muffins!

Tanna - I use sour cream myself, but yogurt would work as well. They make muffins lighter and moister, and that cannot be a bad thing!!

Dagmar - lemon would be nice, too, with bilberries and bog bilberries. But cardamom was different:)

Anonymous said...

I live in O:ntario Canada and there are no products with bog bilberry even in the best health food/holistic type stores...where can i buy this? can i buy them from you since you have access to them? Hope you can help,