Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Favorite Blueberry Muffins

My Favorite Bluberry Muffins

3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
Pinch table salt
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour (3 1/2 ounces)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and warm

2 cups fresh blueberries (about 10 ounces), picked over
1 1/8 cups sugar (8 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon
2 teaspoons lemon juice (fresh)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly (1/2 stick)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. THE TOPPING: Stir together sugar, brown sugar, salt, and flour in small bowl until combined. Drizzle with warm butter and toss with fork until evenly moistened and mixture forms large chunks with some pea-sized pieces throughout. Set aside.

2. THE MUFFINS: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Bring 1 cup blueberries, 1 teaspoon sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing berries with spoon several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to ¼ cup, about 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl. Whisk remaining 11/8 cups sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds. 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. (Batter will be very lumpy with few spots of dry flour; do not overmix.)

4. Following photos below, use ice cream scoop or large spoon to divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly). Spoon teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound of batter. Using chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter using figure-eight motion. Sprinkle streusel topping evenly over muffins.

5. Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 19 minutes, rotating muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.

I've taken a bit of a break, as you can see, but I am back and ready to bake again. I had to have a few months off to deal with a string of disasters in our home, including a 2 week power outage and the long, painful, infuriating breakdown of our 2 refrigerators! Refrigerator repairmen are NOT our favorite people right and the Best Buy service department is on our list too. But things are looking up and I have 4 pounds of butter burning a hole in my fridge so I've got lots of goodies planned!

These delicious muffins were the first things I decided to make after the kitchen was in working order again and we just loved them. The filling, I think, is what pushes these muffins over the top and they wrap very well, so we will be taking them to work all this week for breakfast! Hope you all are having a cooler summer than we are!

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