April 16, 2009

Lemon Sugar Blueberry Muffins

A great recipe for up here in Maine, where I plan on picking so many blueberries come summer. This recipe uses frozen berries, but I can't wait to use fresh, local fruit.

Two unique things about this recipe are its use of blueberry compote stirred into the muffins right before they go into the oven and the delicious lemon sugar topping.

Best Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated

Lemon-Sugar Topping
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 t. lemon zest (zest of one lemon)

2 c. fresh blueberries
1 tsp. sugar
2-1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1 T. salt
1-1/8 cups sugar (8 ounces)
2 large eggs
4 T. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract

For the topping: Stir together sugar and lemon zest until combined; set aside.

For the muffins: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bring 1 cup blueberries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer over medium heat. Cook, mashing berries with a spoon until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to 1/4 c. Cool to room temperature in a small bowl.

Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder together in a large bowl. Stir 1 cup remaining blueberries into dry ingredient mixture. In a seperate bowl, whisk 1-1/8 c. sugar and eggs together until mixture is homogeneous. Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Using silicone spatula, fold egg mixture into flour mixture until just moistened. (Batter will be lumpy, but do not overmix.)

Divide batter equally among 12 muffin cups (cups should be full and slightly mounded). Spoon one teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound of batter. Using a chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter using figure-eight motions. Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over muffins.

Bake 17 to 19 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.