Lillypilly season is finishing up round our parts, so we thought we’d share a little celebratory treat to farewell these crisp little magenta pearls ’til next year. Lillypilly muffins are certainly a treat, with plenty sweet and creamy, but we reckon they give berry muffins a run for their money, and they use up these fruits which often go wasted on footpaths around our neighbourhood.
There are so many different varieties of lillypillies in Australia and they certainly do vary in size, texture and flavour. They’re a popular garden and street tree, so can be easily foraged if you don’t have a tree of your own. The variety we prefer for cooking and eating fresh are the fruit of Syzygium paniculatum. These are the really magenta fruit, oval in shape that come in dense cherry like bunches. They are crisp and succulent, but don’t have a long shelf life, so if you want them to last a little longer they can be stewed in a little water and sugar and kept in the fridge until you’re ready for them.
But now, to the muffins….
(Makes 11 muffins)
220g self-raising flour
1/2 cup raw caster sugar
1/4 cup Yoghurt or kefir
1 cup lillypillies, fresh or stewed (de-stoned too!)
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup rice bran oil
Preheat over to 180 degrees C and grease a muffin tin. Mix flour and caster sugar lightly.
In a separate bowl, whisk milk, egg, yoghurt and oil. Add lillypillies.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, pour in the wet mixture and mix until just combined. Spoon into 11 of your 12 muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned on top (leaving out that extra muffin means your muffins will be nice and high!)
Cool on a rack and serve.
This recipe is based on the Stephanie Alexander classic muffin base, with a few modifications.
NOTE: To stew lillypillies add 2 cups of lillypillies and 3 tbsp of raw caster sugar to a pan and heat slowly, covered, stirring occassionally so the mix doesn’t catch. Cook until lillypillies start to release their juices – then uncover and simmer gently until they are very soft – around 10 minutes. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.