We’ve covered cookies and cakes, but now it’s time to explore the wonderful world of muffins! There are endless combinations and variations of muffins. Apple nut, trail mix, chocolate chip, corn, apple crumb, pumpkin, the list goes on and on! Today we are going to visit a classic, blueberry with a hint of lemon. A tender muffin with a firm structure, crisp crust and a sprinkling of sugar on the top. If you are a lemon lover, finish with a sprinkle of fresh lemon zest!
The key to a good muffin is a balance of ingredients. Because muffins tend to have a lot of inclusions (i.e. nuts, fruit chunks, chocolate chips, etc.,) it’s important we create a structure that can hold this extra weight. Additional to the structure (i.e. flour) we must ensure our leavening agents account for any added acidity or moisture from the aforementioned inclusions.
For example, fruit is naturally acidic, as does it contain moisture. When creating or looking at a recipe, we want to ensure the right balance of flour and eggs, which help create structure and emulsify ingredients, as well as baking soda and or baking powder, which account for the rise in your muffin. Both baking powder and baking soda contain acids, so adjusting these levels might be necessary when looking to add fruit to an existing recipe.
Notice how we fold the blueberries in at the end of our recipe. We do not want them to burst, expelling excess moisture into our batter. Sour cream will add a balanced flavor as well as a bit of moisture and weight to the muffin. Mixing the flour and sour cream in increments allows the batter a chance to absorb both the liquid and dry portion.
The blueberry muffin recipe below yields 12 cupcake size muffins.
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp lemon zest
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
2/3 cup sour cream
1 ½ cup blueberries (rinsed and dried)
*1 ½ tsp additional sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 375*F. Fill a 12 insert cupcake or muffin pan with cupcake liners or spray each cavity with baking spray.
Cream together butter, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time until incorporated. Scrape down bowl in between additions.
Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add ½ of the mixture to the batter along with ½ of the sour cream and beat on low speed. Repeat this step with the remaining dries and the sour cream. Mix just until incorporated.
Gently fold in the blueberries
Scoop or spoon batter into cupcake liners or pan. Sprinkle with the sugar in the raw (or regular granulated sugar) and bake for 23-28 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean (be sure to stick toothpick into the middle).
Cool muffins for about 5 minutes in the pan, then remove and cool completely. Enjoy topped with a pat of butter or a cup of tea!