Yankee's New and Improved Best-Ever Blueberry Muffins
Yankee Plus Dec 2015
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It’s blueberry season and that means it’s time to start baking. Blueberry muffins are a great option—I think of them as a sort of gateway recipe for new bakers—and this recipe will give you delicious, tender cakes studded with lots of fruit. A great reward for 15 minutes of prep work!
This is actually an update of an existing Yankee recipe that we first ran back in the early 1980s. At that time, the recipe was a big hit, but when we recently revisited it, we found the muffins a bit too dense and more salty than sweet. I remember that my own grandmother used to make a similar blueberry muffin during that era. We know from working on our last book project, Yankee’s Lost and Vintage Recipes, that tastes change over time and what was once the perfect formula for a muffin can seem unappetizing to contemporary cooks. So I went back into the kitchen to come up with a muffin that was fluffier, more tender, and sweeter (but not too sweet). And it worked! Here’s how I did it:
- Instead of using oil, as the original recipe did, I started by beating softened butter with sugar to help leaven the muffins without adding extra baking powder. Of course, you also get that wonderful butter flavor.
- With all the extra air beaten into the butter-sugar mixture, I was actually able to reduce the baking powder, which also improved the flavor.
- I cut the amount of salt and increased the sugar from a miserly 1/4 cup to 1 cup, a more typical proportion for muffin recipes.
Yankee’s New and Improved Best Blueberry Muffins
Total time: 40 minutes
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Yield: 12 muffins
- 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup milk
- 1 ¼ cup fresh wild blueberries
Preheat oven to 375° and set a rack to the middle position. Line a standard muffin tin with cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Using a hand-held or standing mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until it is pale and somewhat fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and beat until fluffy, another 2 minutes. When done, it should look like this:
Add the dry ingredients in batches, alternating with the milk. Mix just until everything is evenly combined, then fold in the blueberries by hand.
Divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups. For prettiest results, smooth the tops with a small spatula dipped in water to prevent sticking. Bake until muffins are fragrant, firm, and lightly browned on top, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm.
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