Cheryl's Ultimate Blueberry Muffins

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I've been searching for the ultimate blueberry muffin recipe for some time. Anyone who has visited my website can quickly figure out that I am a huge Dorie Greenspan fan.  Dorie has a wonderful Orange Berry Muffin recipe that I love - you can find it in her cookbook, "Baking From My Home to Yours." I've made Dorie's recipe many times and I love the mixture of the orange flavoring and blueberries. This morning; however, I was looking for something a little different, a muffin with a more intense blueberry flavor.  I came across a recipe from Cook's Illustrated (America's Test Kitchen) where you cook the blueberries with sugar over medium heat and add this mixture, along with fresh blueberries, to the muffin batter. I've adapted parts of Dorie's and Cook's Illustrated to create my own ultimate recipe. It has everything that I'm looking for in a blueberry muffin - it's moist, not too sweet, and has an intense blueberry flavor, along with a hint of orange flavoring.

Makes 12 muffins






Ingredients

For the Orange-Sugar Topping

  •     1/3 cup sugar
  •     1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated zest from 1 orange


For the Muffins

  •     2 cups frozen blueberries
  •     3/4 cup sugar
  •     3 tablespoons honey
  •     2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
  •     2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  •     1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  •     1/4 teaspoon table salt
  •     2 large eggs
  •     4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (1/2 stick)
  •     1/4 cup vegetable oil
  •     1 cup buttermilk
  •     1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract





Instructions


Step 1: For the Topping: Stir together sugar and orange zest in small bowl until combined; set aside.



Step 2: For the Muffins: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

Step 3: Bring 1 cup blueberries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat.



Step 4: 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.



Step 5: Transfer to small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 6: Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl.

Step 7: Whisk remaining 3/4 cup sugar, honey, and eggs together in medium bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 1 minutes.  Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla until combined.

Step 8: Toss remaining cup fresh (dry thoroughly) or frozen blueberries in flour mixture.

Step 9: Using rubber spatula, fold egg mixture into blueberries and flour mixture until just moistened. Batter will be very lumpy with few spots of dry flour; do not over mix.

Step 10: Use ice cream scoop or large spoon to divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly).

Step 11: Spoon teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound of batter. Using chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter using figure-eight motion.



Step 12: Sprinkle orange sugar evenly over muffins.

Step 13: Bake at 425 degrees 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.


   





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