Thursday, June 21, 2012

My Favorite Blueberry Muffin

I recently took my niece to one of my favorite places, the Green Market at Union Square, to show her the fantastic offerings of fresh vegetables, fruits, and baked treats as well as the plethora of flowers and plants.    We wandered through the many stalls, sampled some tasty items and then got down to the business of shopping.  Ninety minutes later,  we were heading home with some wonderful Swiss Chard, bags of fresh  peas and mushrooms, pints of blueberries and fresh strawberries, a window basket of herbs, and one potted deep pink geranium.  My niece didn't seem to be interested in the vegetables; instead, she wanted to make cupcakes with the fruit.  While we didn't make cupcakes we did make my favorite blueberry muffin, or in this instance, my favorite blueberry-strawberry muffin.  The following recipe is taken from a wonderful book aptly called Muffins: Sixty Sweet and Savory Recipes...from Old Favorites to New by Elizabeth Alston. 

The Best Blueberry Muffins
Yields: 12 Regular Muffins
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar, or slightly less depending on the tartness of the berries
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons  baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups blueberries (mash 1/2 cup with a fork)**
2 cups all-purpose flour (if you prefer whole wheat flour, you can adjust the ratio)
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I also add a dash or two of cinnamon)
** if you do more than one berry, adjust i.e. 1 cup of each berry and 1/4 cup of each mashed

Heat oven to 375 F.  Grease 12 regular muffin cups.
In a medium bowl or mixer with the paddle, beat butter until creamy then add sugar, continuing to beat until pale and fluffy.  Beat in one egg at a time.  Beat in vanilla, baking powder and salt.
Mix the mashed berries into batter.
Fold in half of the flour, then half of the milk and mix.  Add the remaining flour and milk.  Fold in the remaining berries.
Scoop batter into the muffin cups (I like to use an ice-cream scoop so each cup measures the same).
Sprinkle each muffin with the sugar-nutmeg mixture.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Let the muffins cool at least 30-minuts in the pan before removing.

I wrap each muffin (in their muffin cup) with plastic and toss into the freezer.  They're great to grab and go!