YOU HAVE TO TRY THESE MUFFINS . . . .I LOVE THEM! I was watching an episode of America's Test Kitchen the other day and they were making these blueberry muffins. Great . . . just another blueberry muffin I thought . . . I was just about to turn the channel, when I heard it . . . music to my ears. . . . they were using fresh blueberries and turning them into smooth jam!!!! If you know me, then you probably know that I have a big problem with fruit. I love the flavor, but it's the texture that I struggle with. I can eat fresh pineapple, fresh strawberries, fresh apples and sometimes grapes. Other than that, whether fresh or cooked, I can't stand to bite into it. It sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it. Yuck.
I always pick out the chunky blueberries out of my blueberry muffins and now I don't have to. So, I was stoked about this muffin recipe. I could eat a muffin, which I love and have all that delicious blueberry flavor without chunky berries. Perfect! (The recipe actually adds fresh blueberries in addition to the jam, but I left out the fresh and only added the jam).
These muffins have the perfect texture, not too cakey and not too heavy. The blueberry flavor is just right and the streusel topping adds just enough lemon flavor to know it's there, but not to overpower the blueberry flavor. Next time, I am going to add half the batter to the muffin tins, then half the jam, the rest of the batter, then the rest of the jam, that way I think it will get more evenly distributed throughout. As you can tell by my pictures, most of the blueberry jam ended up on top of my muffins and didn't make it down to the bottom.
However, I only have one complaint, I really only liked these muffins the day they were made. The 2nd day, they were ok? By the third day, I thought they had a really strange flavor and the top was a little damp, almost wet? I stored mine in a ziplock bag, so maybe if I had stored them in an air-tight plastic container they would have stayed fresh longer? As long as you eat them the first day, I promise you won't be disappointed. The recipe yields 12 muffins, so if you don't think you can eat all of those in one day, cut the recipe in half.
adapted from: America's Test Kitchen
1/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 c. fresh blueberries, picked over
1 1/8 c. + 1 tsp. sugar
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
4 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1. For the topping: stir the sugar and lemon zest together in a small bowl until combined; set aside.
2. For the muffins: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a standard muffin tin with vegetable oil spray. Bring 1 cup of the blueberries and 1 tsp. of the sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing the berries with a spoon several times and stirring frequently, until the berries have broken down and the mixture is thickened and reduced to 1/4 cup, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10-15 minutes.
3. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the remaining 1 1/8 cups sugar and eggs together in a medium bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in the butter and oil until combined. Whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg mixture and the remaining 1 cup blueberries into the flour mixture until just moistened (if adding whole blueberries - I don't add them). The batter will be very lumpy with a few spots of dry flour; do not overmix.
4. Divide batter evenly between prepared muffin cups. The batter should completely fill the cups and mound slightly. Spoon 1 tsp. (I did more like 1 Tbl.) of the cooked berry mixture into the center of each mound of batter. Using a chopstick or skewer, gently swirl the berry filling into the batter using a figure-eight motion. Sprinkle the lemon sugar evenly over the muffins.
5. Bake until the muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17-19 minutes, rotating the muffin tin halfway through. Cool the muffins in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool 5 more minutes before serving. Yields: 12 muffins.