Friday, August 27, 2010

blueberry muffins

When we arrived home from a little trip, we were pleasantly surprised to find that my sweet Mom had left a bowl of freshly picked blueberries in our fridge. After packing our cheeks full of them, squirrel-like, I thought I'd like to whip up some blueberry muffins with the remaining 2 cups or so. And so I did. Though a little involved, these are seriously tasty little buggers. On the muffin scale of cake vs. bread, these are definitely on the cakier end; sweet and jammy, with a little lemony crunch on top. Yum.

Blueberry Muffins (adapted from Cooks Illustrated)
1. Preheat oven to 425 and place rack in the upper-middle position.
2. Stir together 1/4 sugar and 1.5 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest. Set aside.
3. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup blueberries with 1 teaspoon sugar. Squash and stir for 6 minutes or so, until you've got about 1/4 cup blueberry jam. Set aside and let cool.
4. In a large bowl, whisk 1.5 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup white whole-wheat flour (this is my combination; you could certainly use 2.5 cups AP flour instead of the combo), 2.5 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt.
5. In a medium bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup sugar with two eggs until uniform. Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup vegetable oil and 4 tablespoons melted and cooled butter. Whisk in 1 cup buttermilk and 1.5 teaspoons vanilla.
6. Using a rubber spatula, gently combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and another cup of blueberries, just until moistened. (The batter will be a bit lumpy. That's okay.)
7. Distribute the batter among 12 muffin cups... it'll be quite full. Then spoon a teaspoon of the blueberry jam on top and swirl into the top half of the batter. Sprinkle the lemon sugar on top.
8. Bake muffins until the tops are golden and firm, about 18-20 minutes, rotating muffin tin once halfway through. Cool muffins 5 minutes in the tin, and 5 on a rack. Enjoy!

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