I had a great harvest of serviceberries this year (also known as Saskatoon berries as well as by many other names). I guess the cool, rainy spring really did wonders. I actually got a bit tired of harvesting them every couple of days, so I finally took off the bird netting and let the birdies feast on the remainder.
It’s such a pretty little tree or shrub, especially in the spring when it’s blooming, or in the fall when it’s brilliantly colored. I’m surprised it isn’t seen more often in home gardens, as it’s very hardy, stays small and can be left shrub-like or pruned to be more tree-like. The only drawback I’ve found is that you have to fight the birds for the berries. But you don’t have to worry about messy fruit drop, because the birds will definitely clean everything up for you.
I had plenty of berries to make these lovely muffins, have as a snack or on cereal or yogurt, and even to freeze for later.
I usually just throw them in a recipe that calls for blueberries, but this time I tried a recipe that specifically called for Saskatoon berries – or rather, I used sort of a combination of a couple of different recipes. I thought they came out great, and I’ll definitely make these again. Of course, you can substitute blueberries instead.
Serviceberry Muffins (Saskatoon Berry Muffins)
Adapted from a couple of different recipes
½ cup rolled oats
½ cup orange juice
½ cup vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ cups flour
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ cups serviceberries (Saskatoon berries)
Topping: 2 tablespoons sugar mixed with ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 F. Soak rolled oats in orange juice for a couple of minutes. Add egg and oil to the oat mixture. Mix dry ingredients (except berries) together in a medium bowl. Add berries to flour; stir to coat. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients. Pour in the rolled oats mixture. Fold together being careful not to overmix. Spoon mixture into 12 standard muffin cups. Top with the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Bake at 375 F. for 18 to 20 minutes.
Variation: Add ½ cup yogurt to the oatmeal/orange juice mixture and use ½ teaspoon each baking powder and baking soda instead of the amounts called for above.