While one friend will eat any muffin he can get his mitts onto, my mother shuns them all.
She finds nothing redeeming about a muffin.
Sad, really, if you think about it.
So, I became obsessed with the idea of conceiving a muffin that would soften her muffin-hating heart.
Taking on the archetype--blueberry--had its challenges. Too often, blueberry flavor evades blueberry muffins. Even amply studded ones.
The fix? Get your swirl on.
The other little taste and texture touches tip the scales.
Finally, a muffin worthy of a mother's affections.
Very, Very Blueberry Muffins
Loosely adapted from Cooks Illustrated
- 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
- 1-1/8 cups (8 oz) + 1 tsp. granulated sugar
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, liquified
- 3/4 cup whole milk plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup buttermilk or kefir
- 1-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh blueberries, washed and dried
- turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a 12-well muffin tin with paper liners or coat thoroughly with coconut oil or nonstick cooking spray.
In a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine the frozen blueberries with the 1 tsp. of granulated sugar. Simmer, stirring and smashing the berries with a wooden spoon until the mixture is syrupy and you've dyed the pot and the spoon purple--about 5 minutes. Set the compote aside to cool while you carry on with the muffin making.
In a large bowl, combine the three flours (or whatever permutation you prefer), the baking powder, and the salt.
In a second large bowl, whisk together the 1-1/8 cups of granulated sugar and eggs until thick. Pour in the coconut oil, yogurt, buttermilk or kefir, and vanilla extract, stirring between additions.
Switching to a rubber spatula, fold the fresh blueberries into the wet mixture and then marry that with the dry mixture, reminding yourself not to overmix. Lumps and bumps are a plus in muffin land.
Using a tablespoon, fill each muffin well in the prepared tin about half full with batter. Next, use a teaspoon to dollop some of the blueberry compote onto each and then top with another spoonful of batter. Insert a wooden skewer into each cup to swuh-iiiiirl the syrup in with the batter. You can rush this step--or just plain forget it until the end, like I did--but then the blueberry flavor won't pervade and your muffins will stick. (See above photo for a visual of such travesty.)
Sprinkle turbinado sugar over each muffin top and bake (rotating the pan halfway through baking) until puffed and golden, about 15 to 19 minutes.
Allow the muffins to cool it for 5 minutes in the pan, then use an offset spatula to remove them from their tin before transferring them to a wire rack for another five minutes.
Try not to gloat when those previously indifferent or scornful to muffins ask for another.