Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Perfectly Delicious Blueberry Muffins

I don't think that the good folks at America's Test Kitchen will mind my sharing this muffin recipe from their excellent general cookbook, The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.  I have never made anything that was other than delicious when using this book.  It is my go-to resource (along with www.allrecipes.com) for baking and cooking.

First, though, if at all possible, collect 1 1/2 - 2 cups of sun-kissed, perfectly ripe blueberries off of your own blueberry bushes at the beginning of July.  Mine are producing prodigiously again this year.  Blueberry bushes just seem to do well up here in the PNW -- in a way, alas, that I fear tomatoes never shall.  I planted 8 more blueberry plants in the backyard.  Not next summer, but maybe summer of 2014, I shall have more blueberries than I'll know how to handle.  But, making these muffins will be a good and rewarding start.  Here goes:

Big Beautiful Lemon-Blueberry Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
Prep time: 5 minutes (yeah, if you're awesome -- it takes me longer)
Total time: 50 minutes (see note above)

3 cups all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur Flour, because it is the best out there)
1 cup sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 cups plain, lowfat yogurt (I use vanilla flavor)
2 large eggs
Zest from two lemons
8 T. unsalted butter -- melted then cooled
1 1/2 - 2 cups of fresh blueberries, tossed in 1 T. flour

Combine dry ingredients (flour, powder, soda, salt, sugar) in a large bowl.  Beat together the two eggs with the yogurt.  Add the lemon zest to this wet mixture -- I add a little of the fresh lemon juice, too.  Fold it into the dry ingredients until just mixed (do not overmix).  Fold in the melted butter.  Lastly, fold in the blueberries.  This batter will be very solid and sticky -- not in any sense liquidy.  Scoop the batter evenly into coated muffin tins.  The batter will be sticking up over the muffin tin tops.  That is OK.  Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes -- muffins will be golden brown and pleasingly uneven looking.  Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then out of the pan for 10 minutes before serving to delighted and grateful muffin eaters.

For all my strawberries, I usually just serve those washed and sliced with the world's best and easiest fruit dip.  Take one jar of Kraft Marshmallow Creme (7 oz) and beat together with one 8 oz. package of softened Philadelphia Cream Cheese.  Trust me: this is where it is at for dipping strawberries. 

Don't you just love the fresh fruits of summer?  Especially if you happen to be blessed with the ability simply to pluck them from your own garden -- the literal fruits of your labor?

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