This recipe is based on an America’s Test Kitchen recipe. If you’d like to sleep in before making muffins in the morning, take a page from Thomas Keller—rest the batter in the refrigerator overnight. Add the fresh blueberries in the morning, then fill 2/3, swirl the jam in, top them off with the remaining 1/3 and proceeded as written.
I’ve also used blackberries or raspberries in this recipe. Both are delicious. These freeze great, I individually wrap them in parchment, then place in a gallon freezer bag. 20-30 seconds in the microwave and they are good to go!
Yield: 12 muffins
1/3 cup sugar (2-1/3 ounces)
1-1/2 teaspoons finely grated zest from 1 lemon
2 cups fresh blueberries (about 10 ounces), picked over
(If you must use frozen blueberries, thaw them first)
1-1/8 cups sugar (8 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon
2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12-1/2 ounces)
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder (make sure it’s fresh)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup cold-pressed canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
(If buttermilk is unavailable, substitute ¾ cup plain whole-milk /or/ low-fat yogurt thinned with ¼ cup milk.)
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
FOR THE TOPPING—
Stir together sugar and lemon zest in small bowl until combined; set aside.
FOR THE MUFFINS—
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Line the muffin tin cups with parchment liners.
Bring 1 cup blueberries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing berries with spoon several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to ¼ cup, about 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl. Whisk remaining 1⅛ cups sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined. Whisk in buttermilk, vanilla , and almond extract until combined. Using rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and remaining cup blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened. (Batter will be very lumpy with few spots of dry flour; do not overmix.)
Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, fill the muffin cups 2/3 of the way full, add the cooked berry mixture, then add more batter (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly). Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over muffins.
Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 19 minutes, rotating muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.
This muffin recipe, minus blueberries, makes a terrific basic muffin mix. A double batch makes around 12 dozen mini muffins. The possibilities are endless. Instead of blueberries, use chocolate chips, or make an orange-cranberry version (bring to a boil 3-4 cups dried cranberries and the juice of four large oranges; let set overnight, do not drain; skip the vanilla; add orange zest). Bake mini muffins 10-11 minutes.