Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Best Blueberry Muffins

We have ten blueberry bushes that are about five years old. There are several varieties, allowing us to have fresh berries over a longer season, and the earlier types are beginning to produce fruit now. I adore blueberries and am somewhat crushed that my daughters don't really share my sentiment. I say it leaves more for the rest of us, but I honestly cannot understand -how can one not be absolutely crazy about blueberries?

Blueberries are a fantastic fruit to raise, harvest and cook with. They are easy to pick -no thorns or prickles. To freeze them, simply put them in bags without washing, and then pull frozen blueberries from the freezer all year long to enjoy -at least as long as they last. We eat them frozen straight from the bag, or defrosted and made into crumbles, crisps or a scrumptious blueberry sauce to pour over waffles and pancakes. When the bushes are in full production I make jam and canned blueberry pie filling and am hoping to make some country wine. These muffins are one of the few ways that the girls enjoy eating blueberries. I make them often, using both fresh and frozen berries with equal success. These really are the very best blueberry muffins -ever.

The Best Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from Muffins by Elizabeth Alston
In stand mixer bowl, beat:
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
Beat in one at a time:
2 eggs
1 1/2 t. vanilla
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
Add and beat until they are quite mashed:
1/2 c. blueberries (defrosted, if using frozen)
Add half at a time and fold in:
2 c. flour
1/2 c. milk
Fold in:
1 c. blueberries (don't defrost, if using frozen)
Use an ice cream scoop and fill well-greased or foil-lined muffin tins (the paper-liners have a tendency to stick). I always seem to have a bit extra so I make a wee little loaf cake, about the same amount as for two muffins, and it cooks in the same amount of time as the muffins do. Give it to some deserving soul who will be absolutely delighted.
2 T. sugar
1/4 t. nutmeg
Sprinkle sugar mix over the tops of muffins before baking. Bake 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cool muffins half an hour in pan before removing to rack (I always forget this part without any disastrous results). I love to make these and have them ready and waiting the next morning for breakfast.

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