One sunny Saturday morning at the farm, I went off script—the breakfast script, that is. In addition to the usual morning fare, I spontaneously baked a batch of blueberry muffins.
Some of the recipes used lard in the batter, others oil. But the one I settled on, Easy Blueberry Muffins, went with melted butter. The recipe called for simple ingredients; promised an easy, one-bowl cleanup; and sixteen tender, moist muffins. It delivered on all fronts, including taste.
In my haste to get these ready for my breakfast guests, I ignored two old wives’ tales about muffin baking. First, dust the berries lightly with flour to minimize the fruit “bleeding” into the batter. (Mine did a bit, but not too much.)
Then, to avoid having the berries sink to the bottom, drop a small bit of plain batter into each muffin cup before adding the fruit mixture. This will make a cushion for the batter-berry mixture to rest upon and prevent the fruit from gathering at the bottom of the tin. I neglected to do either of these and the muffins turned out just fine.
Playing with the Recipe
I used fresh blueberries, which I prefer. If using frozen, it’s best to rinse the fruit well and pat dry. This will help prevent muffins from taking on a blue-green hue.
For years a similar recipe was served at Jordan-Marsh Department Store tea room in Boston. Their version had a sweeter batter, that included some mashed blueberries, that gave the muffins a bluish tint. This recipe I used scales back the sugar and keeps all the berries whole—which I prefer. I added my own touch with a bit of lemon zest.
Easy Blueberry Muffins
- 1/2 cup (1 stick butter)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 cups blueberries, fresh preferred
- 1/4 cup sugar, for topping
- Lemon zest (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin; or use paper liners, and grease the papers.
- In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until well combined.
- Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl and beating well after each addition.
- Beat in the baking powder, salt, and vanilla.
- Add the flour alternately with the milk, beating gently just to combine. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- Add the whole berries and lemon zest (if using) to the batter, stirring just to combine and distribute.
- Fill the muffin cups nearly to the top with batter.
- Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon granulated sugar atop each muffin, if desired. (It was what Jordan’s did.)
- Bake the muffins for about 30 minutes, until they’re light golden brown on top, and a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.
- Remove the muffins from the oven, loosen their edges from the pan, and after about 5 minutes transfer them to a rack to cool.