Good Morning, America
Although when we’re in France we live right next door to a bakery where Shel can go in his slippers to get his morning pain au chocolat, one thing he can’t get there is a blueberry muffin. Or any sort of muffin, for that matter, but blueberry is his favorite, and he misses them. In fact, you almost never see blueberries in France, although they do exist, and so, as soon as we shook off a bit of the jet lag resulting from crossing nine time zones and getting plunked down unceremoniously in the middle of winter, I decided to make him some muffins.
For years I searched for the perfect blueberry muffin recipe, only to learn with each new attempt, that he still preferred the oil-bomb supermarket variety to any that I made. Even using fresh blueberries from our garden didn’t sway him from his conviction that the Safeway bakery department made a better blueberry muffin that I did. You can imagine the shame and frustration I felt (matched only by similar emotions when I tried to duplicate his childhood favorite, yellow cake with chocolate frosting, only to learn that a mix from Duncan Hines was the only way to replicate the cake he loved).
But then I discovered the One True Recipe, the one Shel prefers to any other blueberry muffin in the world. Click here to see the original recipe, and I’ll give you my few special tweaks to it below. I’m sure it’s perfect as is, but according to Shel it’s better than perfect in my variation. For one thing, I make mini muffins, so he can eat a whole plateful. For another, I use a can of those tiny blueberries instead of fresh or frozen large berries, And lastly, I top them with raw sugar, for an extra crunch. If you have a supermarket muffin addict in your household, give these a try. And if you’ve been searching forever for the perfect recipe, I think you’ve found it. Now, if you happen to have the perfect recipe for yellow cake with chocolate frosting…….
Better Than The Best Blueberry Muffins
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour, divided use
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 14 oz can blueberries, packed in water
3-4 T raw or turbinado sugar
Preheat oven to 375°. Line mini-muffin tins with paper cups (I get about 34 muffins from this recipe) and spray muffin cups lightly with something like Spectrum canola spray. Place the blueberries in a strainer to drain thoroughly.
In a stand mixer, if possible, cream together the butter, salt and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. In a small bowl, stir together 1 3/4 cups of flour and the baking powder. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour alternately with the buttermilk, mixing just until smooth. Crush 1/4 of the drained blueberries and stir them lightly into the batter by hand. In a small bowl, stir the remaining 1/4 cup of flour together with the rest of the drained blueberries, then fold this mixture gently into the batter.
Drop the batter by the heaping teaspoonful into the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins generously with the raw sugar. Bake muffins for about 23 minutes until golden brown.