Monday, May 30, 2011

Blueberry Muffins

There was a good sale on blueberries at Fred Myers. I bought too many.  The result?  Muffins.  I love a good blueberry muffin.  The only thing is....these were ok quality of blueberries but they certainly weren't flavor packed.  The muffins came out beautiful and tasted delicious but the blueberries could have had a bit more flavor & tartness. They were a bit watery.
This recipe is a combination of about 4 or 5 recipes so I cannot claim any one source.  Although the base started with America's Test Kitchen best blueberry muffins.  They gave me the idea of making a quick concentrated blueberry jam to swirl through the muffins before baking.  That was a great idea.  I also added several handfuls of fresh blueberries. Then I topped them with a cinammon, oat, brown sugar crunchy struesel.  I used my large muffin pan that creates really big crunchy golden brown extended muffin tops.   I love that pan. I don't even use liners.  I simply spray it well and pour in the batter. My muffins always pop right out.  I think I bought them at Williams Sonoma years ago.
If you are looking for a super quick muffin recipe, this one is not quite that. I mean, it's quicker than making cookies or a layer cake, but usually muffins are a dump in a one bowl thing, give it a quick stir and you are done.  These are a bit more time consuming because I made the blueberry jam first, then the struesel, then the batter..but still...not too bad of a time stealer.  They are certainly delicious.  It would be fun to play around a bit with the recipe...maybe use raspberries instead? Or use almond extract? Maybe even lemon extract?  Add nuts to the struesel? There are a lot of possibilities.  But with all the luscious berries coming into season, it's nice to have an awesome muffin recipe around.

Blueberry Muffins

4 cups fresh blueberries
Zest from half of lemon
2 1/2 cups sugar, plus one tablespoon
3 cups AP flour
2 cups wheat flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (probably could use a bit more vanilla)

Set oven to 425 degrees
Adjust the rack to middle in the oven
Spray muffin pans or line with papers
(This recipe made 14 jumbo muffins for me)

Bring 2 cups blueberries, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, mashing berries with a spoon several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced, about 6-8 minutes (this step of reducing took me about 15-20 minutes). Transfer to bowl and cool to room temperature, 10-15 minutes.

Whisk all purpose flour, wheat flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl (I sifted my dry ingredients). Whisk remaining 2 1/2 cups sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until thick. Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Using rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and remaining cup blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened. The batter will be very lumpy with spots of dry flour; do not overmix!

Use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to divide batter equally among muffin cups (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly). Spoon teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound. Using chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter using figure eight motion.  Sprinkle a bunch of struesel on top of each muffin (I used about 2 tablespoons per muffin - struesel recipe below) 

Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, about 17-19 minutes (depends on the size of your muffins.mine took a lot longer), rotating muffin tin (front to back) halfway through cooking time. Cool muffins in tin for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool 5 more minutes before serving.

Struesel Recipe (this recipe made a lot of struesel, I had about a cup left over)

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinammon
2 cubes butter, cold & cut into pieces
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup old fashion oats

Combine all of the ingredients (except the oats) in a food processor and whirl till small butter lumps remain - about the size of peas.  After processing, whisk in the oats.

No comments: