This morning was a day for muffins. I had fresh blueberries on hand and decided to test out a recipe from The Art and Soul of Baking: Easy Morning Muffin. The original recipe calls for raspberries but I just swapped those for blueberries.
I prefer muffins which have a crunchy topping reminiscent of the flavors associated with traditional coffee cake. A streusel topping was a must.
Sure enough, the recipe was a success and I was very happy to be sitting with a strong cup of coffee and a blueberry streusel muffin in the wee hours of Monday morning; a great way to kick-start the week.
Muffins are quick and easy to pull together and shouldn't only be reserved for the home baker's weekend menu. There is no creaming of butter and eggs, no standing at the mixer for 5-10 minutes awaiting that "desired creamy consistency". Nope, with these you just combine dry in one bowl, wet in another, then fold them all in together ever so gently. Top them with a simple streusel and bake for 18 minutes.
Many people are afraid to add berries of any kind to their muffin batter because the end result tends to be a muffin that has turned a weird blue hue around the fruits. Avoid that by using buttermilk in your recipe. It is the secret to great fruit filled muffins. Why? The blue coloring you see is because of a reaction between the alkaline fruit and baking powder and/or baking soda. Buttermilk stops the reaction by introducing an acidic balance. I love buttermilk in baked goods too because it just adds such a homey taste to them. It should be used often for that very reason!
WHAT YOU NEED
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
zest of 1 lemon
2/3 cup buttermilk at room temperature
3/4 stick of butter, unsalted
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup of fresh blueberries
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans or almonds work well)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted
LINE 12 muffin cups with paper liners
PREHEAT oven to 400F
IN LARGE BOWL, whisk together first 5 ingredients
IN MICROWAVE SAFE MEDIUM-SIZED BOWL, melt butter in microwave 25-35 second, 80% power
WHISK in buttermilk and lemon zest to melted butter. Set aside for 5 minutes
ADD eggs and vanilla to buttermilk mixture, whisking until combined
MAKE a well in dry ingredients and add buttermilk mixture
FOLD dry and wet together until just combined
WITH small cookie dough scoop or teaspoon, add 1 amount to muffin liners so they are 1/4 full with batter
TOP with 4-5 blueberries and cover with another scoop of batter
IN SMALL BOWL, COMBINE all ingredients except melted butter, stir well
ADD melted butter and stir so it is well incorporated and no dry areas remain
SPRINKLE streusel over muffins pressing down slightly so streusel adheres somewhat to muffin batter
BAKE 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean
ALLOW to cool 5 minutes in pan then move muffins to cooling rack