Haskap Sour Cream Muffins - overhead view

Haskap Sour Cream Muffins

Haskap Sour Cream Muffins - close up

Haskap Sour Cream Muffins marry tart juicy berries with a rich moist sour cream muffin base. It’s a winning combination but many of you might be asking, what’s a Haskap? Also called Honey Berries, these bright blue oblong berries are native to Japan, Russia and parts of Canada. The name Haskap means “little present on the end of a branch,” in Japanese. Professor Bob Bors spent 15 years learning from the Japanese and choosing the best traits to cultivate these bush growing berries back at the University of Saskatchewan.

Now, you’ll find Haskaps growing in every province. Over two million plants have been sold. An edible berry producing member of the honeysuckle family, Haskap bushes were previously only found on the edges of swamps in boreal forests in Northern parts of Canada. They’re prized for their delightful flavour (a mix of raspberry, blueberry and tart apple) and the fact they’re the first berry to ripen in the season and can often be picked by mid-June.

I have friends with a small orchard near High River who invite me to come pick each summer because their bushes produce in great abundance. So, I have a nice (but dwindling!) stash of these blue honey berries in my freezer. Now, because of the work of one of the Food Artisans of Alberta that I know, Kreg Alde of Broken Tyne Orchard, you too can access Haskap berries.

Alde and his family, children Konnor and Nevada and wife Lee-Anne, farm 2400 acres in Alberta’s Peace Country near Beaverlodge. A marketing whiz and social connector by nature, Alde is helping to popularize the farming of these berries. “Because the leaves of the plant contain natural pesticides, they can be grown without chemicals. They are much better for the land than most conventionally grown crops. And, they aren’t subject to the diseases Saskatoon berries are.” He is also building market demand for Haskaps through a coop he’s started called Vitalaberry Corp. Alberta businesses like Village Ice Cream, Mackay’s Ice Cream, Foothills Creamery and Sobey’s stores are key clients. If you’d like to get your hands on some, you can request “North 49 Fruit Coop or Vitalaberry Haskap Berries” at your local Sobey’s franchise grocery stores.

Beyond my recipe for Haskap Sour Cream Muffins, try them as a sauce for cheesecake, make jams or jellies or fold them into ice cream. The Alde family also use the juice to make a Melomel Haskap Wine. I think you’ll be seeing a lot more of these berries in the coming years. When it comes to eating local, they are one more way to help us savour it all.

Note: This post is NOT sponsored.

The Alde Family of Broken Tine Orchard  - portrait
The Alde Family – Konnor, Nevada, Lee-Anne and Kreg in front of their old red barn at Broken Tine Orchard
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Haskap Sour Cream Muffins

Haskap Sour Cream Muffins - top down view

Tart, juicy blue Haskap berries brighten these rich sour cream muffins.

  • Author: Karen Anderson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x
  • Category: Muffins
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: Canadian

Ingredients

Scale

1 egg

¾ cup sugar

1 cup sour cream

⅓ cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1½ cups frozen or fresh Haskap berries

Note: if using frozen berries, keep frozen until just before use!

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

2 Tablespoons quick oats

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400℉ and line the muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Beat the egg and whisk in the sugar in a medium bowl then stir in the sour cream, buttermilk and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, soda and salt into a large bowl, add the berries and toss to coat them with the flour.
  4. Make a well in the center of the berry and flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients mixture. Stir until the combination comes together but take care not to overstir as that causes tough muffins.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
  6. Mix the cinnamon, brown sugar and oats in a small bowl and then sprinkle the top of each muffin with the mixture.
  7. Place in the middle rack in the oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Enjoy at tea time, breakfast or as a snack with a big glass of milk.

 

Keywords: Haskap Sour Cream Muffins

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