My culinary life changed when I got a muffin tin. I use the twelve-cup, non-stick, tin for things other than muffins. I’ve made pizza muffins, macaroni and cheese bites, and meatballs using the tin. I’ve also made muffins, of course, but until I found myself with a large punnet of blueberries I had never made blueberry muffins. Bread, yes, but never muffins. Crazy!
So I rectified this slight by researching recipes and landed on a great one from Smitten Kitchen, one that had been adapted from earlier iterations of the cakey, fruity, mushroom-shaped edible sculptures. What makes the recipe for me are two key ingredients: lemon zest and yogurt. The zest is essential to cut the batter as it bakes, lifting the flavors so it is less doughy, more light, and cakey. I like to use full-fat Greek yogurt but you could substitute sour cream if you prefer.
Another key ingredient is really a finishing touch: turbinado, or raw sugar. Turbinado sugar has been refined to the point that it is edible, but it still retains its molassas flavor and color. Its large crystals maintain their shape and crunch atop the muffin batter as the batter bakes and coalesce into delectable muffins.
Coffee and muffins are a perfect pair, but I also like to serve a still-warm muffin with a little bit of vanilla ice cream as a dessert.
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
- Finely grated zest from 1/2 a lemon
- 3/4 cup plain unsweetened yogurt or sour cream (use full fat to the batter doesn’t get too watery)
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt (if you can find Himalayan pink salt, buy it and use it here!)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen (no need to defrost the berries)
- 3 tablespoons turbinado (sugar in the raw) sugar
- Heat oven to 375°F.
- Line a muffin tin with 9 paper liners or spray each cup with a nonstick spray (I prefer the latter.)
- Melt butter in the bottom of a large bowl and whisk in sugar, zest, yogurt, and egg until smooth. Whisk in baking powder, baking soda, and salt until fully combined, then lightly fold in flour and berries. The batter will be very thick, almost like cookie dough.
- Add a scoop of batter to each muffin cup and sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon of turbinado sugar. This may come across as too much, but it isn’t! It is the right amount to give the finished product that sugary crunch.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until tops are golden and a tester (such as a toothpick) inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean (except for the blueberry goo – you want that.)
- Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then the rest of the way on a rack.
- Serve and enjoy! The muffins are best consumed the same day you make them but could go another day or two provided you store them in an airtight container after they have completely cooled.
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