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Fear Conquered: No-box Blueberry Muffins
I used to buy boxes of blueberry muffin mix. And not just one box at a time. I'd buy four or five. That way, I'd always have a stash of blueberry muffin mix to satisfy those cravings for sweet, delectable, blueberry crumbliness. Because everyone has a weakness that can't be cured and hot, fluffy blueberry muffins happen to be mine.
Yet muffins and cupcakes are tricksy little mistresses. So finicky. So demanding. So intolerant of newbie mistakes. And so glorious when all the stars align and victory is achieved. That perfect batch of homemade muffins hot from the oven, all golden and puffed. It's enough cause to throw a parade. With trombones. 76 trombones, for that matter. Maybe more.
It's the defeat of that boxed pre-made muffin-mix voodoo and the victory of simple homespun goodness. It's the triumph of fresh blueberries over dreadful syrup-smashed slop in a can. It's biting into that first, steamy-soft muffin and knowing, just KNOWING you will never EVER need to buy another boxed mix. EVER. It's enough to make you add trumpets to those trombones.
I spent years courting this blueberry muffin mistress. Years of breakfasts, brunches and desserts. Years of changing proportions, adding, subtracting, tweaking. Breaking it off and starting over. Crawling back for more. Begging, BEGGING for just one perfect result.
And then there it was. The perfect blueberry muffin. Crisp and sugary on top, moist and crumbly inside, bursting with bright blueberry flavor and so, so soft. So soft. Without a box. Without a can of blue mush. No crazy techniques. Just a bowl, a measuring cup and a spoon. Yeah, I'll be leading that parade now.
I just need some trombones and trumpets.
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|You will need 18 ounces of fresh blueberries (3 packages), rinsed.|
|To dry the blueberries, line a baking sheet with paper towels.|
|Add the rinsed berries to the lined sheet and shake the pan back and forth to knock off loose water. Let berries air dry for at least 10 minutes while you prepare the blueberry batter.|
|Spray two 4x3 cup muffin pans with oil or non-stick baking spray.|
|Fit muffin cups with paper liners. Preheat oven to 350F.|
|Sift together flours, baking powder and baking soda into a large bowl.|
|Add granulated sugar.|
|Whisk the dry ingredients together to thoroughly combine.|
|Measure 1 1/2 cups organic sour cream into a large 4-cup measuring cup.|
|Add 1/2 cup olive oil to the sour cream.|
|Add the zest of 1 lemon to the olive oil and sour cream.|
|Add vanilla extract and kosher salt.|
|Add 2 large eggs.|
|Beat together the wet ingredients to thoroughly combine.|
|Add the wet ingredients to the dry.|
|Gently fold together with a spatula until just mixed. Do not overmix.|
|Add dry blueberries to the batter.|
|Gently fold in blueberries until evenly distributed.|
|Using a 2-inch diameter ice cream scoop, portion out muffin batter into prepared muffin pans.|
|You should have just enough batter for 24 muffins.|
|If desired for a crispy muffin top, sprinkle the muffins with vanilla sugar or granulated sugar.|
|Sprinkle muffin tops generously best crispier results.|
|Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes at 350F until golden and a toothpick just comes out clean. Let the muffins cool for 3 minutes in the muffin pans before turning out.|
|Serve muffins immediately while hot or cool to room temperature before storing in airtight containers for up to 2 days.|
|I prefer my blueberry muffins with a pat of salted butter. But they're perfectly delicious without butter.|
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Homemade Blueberry Muffins
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 20 min
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Ingredients (24 muffins)
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached cake flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups organic sour cream
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 large eggs
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 18 ounces fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried
- Vanilla sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350℉ and grease two 4x3 non-stick muffin pans; fit the muffin cups with paper liners
- In a large bowl, sift together the flours, baking soda and baking powder; add the granulated sugar and whisk the dry ingredients together; set aside
- In a large measuring cup, beat together the sour cream, olive oil, eggs, lemon zest, salt and vanilla
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold the batter together with a spatula until just combined; fold the blueberries into the batter until evenly distributed
- Using a 2-inch diameter ice cream scoop, portion out the muffin batter into the lined muffin cups and optionally sprinkle each muffin with vanilla sugar
- Bake the muffins (both pans side-by-side on the center oven rack) for 20-25 minutes until golden and a toothpick comes out clean
- Cool the muffins for 2-3 minutes before turning out onto wire cooling wracks; serve immediately or store the cooled muffins in an airtight container for up to 2 days
An original recipe by Javelin Warrior. © 2011 Javelin Warrior. All rights reserved.
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Hungry for Tips?
- Always grease your muffin pans and use paper muffin liners. The high ratio of fresh blueberries in this recipe causes these muffins to stick to any available surface, even non-stick surfaces. So trust me on this and grease the pans and use paper liners.
- Always, always, ALWAYS mix these muffins by hand to avoid activating the gluten in the flour (which would result in tough muffins). Do not use a stand mixer or hand-held mixer. Gently fold the ingredients together and stop as soon as everything is moistened.
- Cake flour is lighter than all purpose flour (due to a lower protein ratio) and helps keep these muffins soft and crumbly. In a pinch if you don't have cake flour, you can use all purpose flour instead: just remove 2 Tablespoons of flour per measured cup and add 2 Tablespoons of corn starch.
- If you can't find organic sour cream, use non-organic (I recommend Daisy). Organic sour cream tends to be slightly less acidic in flavor and somewhat thinner in consistency which leads to a smoother batter that's easier to mix.
- The batter adheres better to dry berries, so wash your blueberries in advance and let them air dry before adding them to the batter. I line a baking sheet with a paper towels, spread out the washed berries and let them to air dry for about 10 minutes.
- If you want a crispy muffin top, generously sprinkle the muffins with sugar before baking. I like to use vanilla sugar but you could also use regular granulated.
- Do NOT over-bake muffins. Ever. The muffins continue to bake for 3 minutes while cooling in the muffin pans, so pull the muffins out of the oven the moment a toothpick comes out without a film of gooey batter. If there are moist crumbs clinging to the toothpick, that's just fine.
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