Learn to make easy-peasy lilly pilly muffins with locally foraged bush foods.
Lilly pilly muffins are certainly a treat, as lilly pilly berries are sweet and creamy, and we believe they give berry muffins a run for their money. Plus, if you’re a savvy urban forager, they use up these fruits which often go wasted on footpaths around the neighbourhood.
There are so many different varieties of lilly pillies in Australia and they 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 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…
Lilly Pilly Muffins Recipe
(Makes 11 muffins)
- 220g self-raising flour
- 1/2 cup raw caster sugar
- 1/4 cup yoghurt or kefir
- 1 cup lillypillies (de-stoned), fresh or stewed
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 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 lilly pillies.
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.
NOTE: To stew lilly pillies add 2 cups of lilly pillies and 3 tablespoons of raw caster sugar to a pan and heat slowly, covered, stirring occasionally so the mix doesn’t catch.
Cook until lilly pillies 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.
This recipe is based on the Stephanie Alexander classic muffin base, with a few modifications.