Sunday, July 20, 2008

Blueberry season!!!

I love blueberry season.  I love walking among the stands at the farmer's market, and seeing the pint baskets lined up with their blue jewels sparkling in the sun.  I try to buy them as often as possible, and throw them into cereal, bowls of mixed fruit topped with a dollop of whipped cream and even enjoy them alone.  

Still, the ultimate blueberry experience has to be a blueberry muffin. I've tried many recipes over the year, but this time I tried one from Cook's Illustrated.  M. and I have enjoyed the magazine for the past year, however we recently decided an online subscription would better serve us as it would allow us to access many more recipes then in the bi-monthly printed version.  So I selected the Cinnamon-Sugar-Dipped Blueberry Muffin recipe.  The muffins seem a bit homely, as they're baked without paper liners.  Still, a quick dunk in melted butter and then a swift spin in a cinnamon-sugar mixture creates a soft and tender muffin with a sweet crust.  The crumb of the muffin was very tender, despite my worries that I had overmixed ensuring all pockets of flour were mixed in.  

I made a few changes to the recipe - I used fresh blueberries instead of frozen.  It worked well, although a few bled and exploded into the muffins.  Since these were just for us, it didn't make a difference.  But if I were making these for an event or company, I might go with the frozen in order to improve the appearance.  I also used the microwave to melt the butter for the final dipping step.  

We are really enjoying these muffins.  I froze most of them, however they are steadily reappearing from the freezer and being consumed at a quick rate.  The sweet topping combined with the tender crumb make these muffins really delicious, and I think this recipe will go into regular blueberry season rotation as a result.  

Cinnamon-Sugar-Dipped Blueberry Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

This recipe does not require a standing mixer, but when making the batter, be sure to whisk vigorously in step 2, then fold carefully in step 3.  There should be no large pockets of flour in the finished batter, but small occasional sprays may remain.  Do not overmix the batter.

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 oz)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 large egg
1 cup granulated sugar (7 0z)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/4 cups sour cream (10 oz)
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries, preferably wild
1/2 up granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl until combined.  Whisk egg in second medium bowl until well-combined and light colored, about 20 seconds.  Add sugar, and whisk vigorously until thick and homogenous, about 0 seconds. Add melted butter in 2 or 3 steps, whisking to combine after each addition.  Add sour cream in 2 steps, whisking to just combine.
3. Add frozen berries to dry ingredients, and gently toss to combine.  Add sour cream mixture and fold with rubber spatula until batter comes together and berries are evenly distributed, 25-30 seconds (small spots of flour may remain and batter will be thick).  Do not overmix.
4.   Use ice cream scoop or large spoon to drop batter into greased muffin tin.  Bake until light golden brown, and toothpick or skewer inserted into center of muffin comes out clean, 24-30 minutes, rotating pan from front to back halfway through baking time.  Invert muffins onto wire rack, stand muffins upright, and cool 5 minutes. 
5. While muffins are cooling, mix sugar and ground cinnamon in small bowl until melt butter in a small saucepan.  After baked muffins have cooled five minutes, working one at a time, dip tops of muffins in melted butter and then cinnamon-sugar.  Set muffins upright on wire rack; serve. 


Stephanie said...

Those look delicious, and we have an abundance of berries- can't wait to try the dipping in butter and cinnamon sugar step!

kickpleat said...

i agree, these look great! i've got a load of blueberries coming my way and i'll definitely give these a try.

Cinnamon said...
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Helios said...

Stephanie - yup. Hard to go wrong dipping muffins in butter and cinnamon/sugar! Unfortunately..... :)

Kickpleat - hope you enjoy the muffins.