My family is big on blueberries. We nearly always have some waiting to be added to cereal or greek yogurt for breakfast, but I knew that I wanted to use them for something a little different. When I saw this recipe for blueberry muffins on carnal dish, one of my favorite blogs, I knew we had a winner.
The brightness of the lemon zest in this recipe brings out the sweet juices of the blueberries, and the crunchy topping adds a perfect texture contrast to the soft muffin. These muffins are a delightful complement to your morning latte!
Preheat the oven to 425F, and spray your standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
Stir together 1/3 cup sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest in a small bowl until combined, then set aside. This will be used for the lemon-sugar topping.
Then, cook a reduced blueberry jam for the top of the muffins. Combine 1 cup blueberries, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest in a small saucepan.
Over medium heat, bring the sugar and berries to a simmer.
Cook, mashing the berries with a spoon or fork several times to get the juices flowing. Stir frequently, until the berries have broken down and the mixture is thickened and reduced to about 1/4 of a cup. You'll be able to drag your spoon along the bottom of the pan and leave a trail behind the spoon when the mixture is thick enough.
The picture above is about halfway through cooking. The berries need to be much darker and thicker than this before you take it off the stove - a good way is to eyeball when it is reduced to 1/4 cup.
Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temperature, about 10 to 15 minutes. This mixture can also be made ahead of time and refrigerated.
Meanwhile, soak 1 teaspoon of lemon zest into 1 tablespoon of lemon juice while the berries cool to room temperature. You will be straining this zest later to be added into the muffin batter.
Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
Whisk remaining 1 1/8 cups sugar and eggs together in a medium bowl until thick and homogenous, about 45 seconds.
Slowly whisk in melted butter and oil until combined. Strain the 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and most of its moisture and add to the mixture, discarding the lemon juice. Whisk in butter milk and vanilla until combined.
Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg mixutre and reamining cup of blueberries into the flour mixture until just moistened.
Be very careful folding the dry and wet ingredients, as you don't want to damage any of the blueberries (this will make greyish streaks in your muffins).
The batter will be very lumpy and may have a few spots of dry flour, but it's important not to overmix to avoid having dried-out and tough muffins.
Spoon the batter equally among the prepared muffin cups. The batter should fill the cups nearly completely and mound slightly.
Spoon 1 teaspoon of the cooked berry mixture into the center of each mound of batter (I used a heaping teaspoon, which resulted in extremely purple muffins - but the blueberries were just too tempting!).
Using a chopstick, skewer, or toothpick, gently swirl the berry filling into the better using a figure-eight motion.
Sprinkle the lemon sugar evenly over the muffins, pressing down lightly on each to make sure the sugar stays on the muffins while baking.
Bake until the muffin tops are gold and just firm, 15 to 19 minutes (mine took a little longer since I had used more of the blueberry topping), rotating the muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time.
Cool muffins in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Here you can really see the crispy lemon-sugar topping; this is what really makes these muffins so delicious!
Of course, these are best served fresh out of the oven, but you can store leftover muffins in an air-tight container for a couple of days.
These muffins are very tasty - the crumb is extremely tender and moist, not dense and heavy like most store-bought muffins. Smear with a dab of butter and serve with a glass of milk, and you have a very satisfying breakfast treat. You could also try making this recipe with blackberries or raspberries!
Blueberry Muffin Recipe via Carnal Dish
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
2 cups fresh blueberries, washed and picked over
1 1/8 cups sugar, plus 1 teaspoon
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purupose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk * (may substitute 3/4 cup plain whole-milk or low-fat yogurt thinned with 1/4 cup milk)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Stir together sugar and lemon zest in small bowl until combined; set aside.