Thursday, August 10, 2006

Blueberry Muffins:Recipe


My latest warehouse find was an enormous package of blueberries imported from Canada. Looking at the package I saw the word "bleuets". Apparently in French speaking Canada blueberries are called bleuets. Isn't that a sweet word? Much more charming than "myrtille", which is what I learned in French class. Though truthfully I like the word blueberry too. It's so very accurate. But bleuets kind of hints at how cute they are.

Frozen blueberries are fine, but fresh ones are really special. They are such sweet little gems to bake with. When I wrote about blueberries last Summer, I suggested adding blueberries to pancakes and muffins. But I didn't have any specific recipes for you. Well I do now! My blueberry muffin recipe is adapted from the one in The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion The All-Purpose Baking Cookbook. While I highly recommend the cookbook, the King Arthur Flour website has TONS of recipes too. Those King Arthur people know what they're doing when it comes to baking.

My ideal muffin is not too greasy, too sweet, or too big. It's light with a tender crumb, and a little tang to it. After having tried many different times to bake perfect muffins, my favorite recipe is one that happened by accident. I wanted to make blueberry muffins but realized I didn't have enough blueberries. So I added some dried cherries and they turned out great. I tried the recipe again with dried cranberries and that worked well too.

I like making smaller batches of muffins. My recipe is for just 6 muffins which is just the right amount if you ask me. You could easily double the recipe if you want to. It's not a super healthy recipe, but go ahead and indulge after all, blueberries are full of antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C. That's gotta count for something.

Blueberry Muffins
makes 6 muffins

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
3/4 cup blueberries, either fresh or frozen
1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries
1 teaspoon sugar (preferably turbinado or raw sugar)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Cream the butter and sugar in a food processor or mixer. When thoroughly combined, add the egg and blend. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and lemon peel, blend and then gradually add the milk. Put batter in a mixing bowl and gently fold in the blueberries and dried fruit. Fill muffin tins completely and top each muffin with a sprinkle of sugar. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a bamboo skewer comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes then move to a rack.

Enjoy!

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