Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Best Blueberry Muffins

The classic blueberry muffin. I feel like if I'm going to give you a blueberry muffin recipe, it'd better be a darn good one because there are about, oh, half a million of them out there? The one I chose is not an original of mine, but rather a good, reputable one from Cooks Illustrated. (Sorry, you have to register to see the recipe on their site, but I still think it's only fair to give credit where credit is due.)

I didn't have to bake these to know they'd be very delicious. If it's made with buttermilk, it's almost always good. That little bit of zing in the milk adds complexity.  And then there was the little bit of lemon zest which brightens and enhances the other flavors. Well, I'm happy to report that I was right. They are so wonderful that you don't even need to eat them with butter! (Though I do anyway...) These will be perfect with your  Easter Brunch menu!

Best Blueberry Muffins from Cooks Illustrated
Makes 12 muffins

For the Topping-
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest from 1 lemon

For the Muffins-
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 1/8 cups sugar, plus 1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. To make the topping, mix together the sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 425F (make sure the oven rack is in the upper-middle position). Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
3. In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup blueberries with 1 tsp sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook, mashing berries, until they have popped and the mixture has thickened (approximately 6 minutes). Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temperature (10-15 minutes).

Don't use wood if you care about stains. Honestly, the deep plum was so beautiful, I don't care if this spatula never returns to its original color!

4. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk 1 1/8 cup sugar with the eggs until thick. Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined. Add buttermilk and vanilla, mixing until combined.

5. Fold egg mixture into dry ingredients along with remaining blueberries. Stir just until moistened (batter will still be lumpy with a few spots of dry flour. Do not overmix).

6. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter will come to the top of each muffin cup). Spoon 1/2 tsp blueberry mixture into the center of each muffin. Using a toothpick or skewer, gently swirl the filling into the batter. Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over the muffins.

7. Bake for 17-19 minutes, until muffin tops are golden and just firm (Rotate muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time). Cool muffins in tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool for an additional 5 minutes.


  1. I just made these, and they're incredible! Thanks for posting the recipe. :)

    1. Aren't they?! I wish I could claim credit for this recipe. :) So glad you liked them!