Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hearty Fresh Blueberry Muffins

As we head toward the longest day of the year it gets light earlier and earlier and stays light long into the evening. One of the side effects is that I often wake up much earlier than I do when days are shorter. The birds around here start singing about 5 am these days, including the annoying peacocks a few blocks over. Despite being tired from all the unusual physical labor necessary for the remodel my eyes seem to pop open sometime between 5 am and 6 am with little hope that I'll be able to get any more sleep.

That's what happened yesterday, so I decided to make good use of the early hour by baking something for breakfast. There were fresh blueberries on sale at the market and we had not had fresh blueberry muffins for a long time, so I scrounged in the baking pan cupboard and came up with an 8 hole muffin tin. Further search would have waken Sweetie, so the recipe would have to be adjusted to the smaller pan.

I love blueberry muffins! The lemon zest perks up the flavor, they have less sweetness than some for the batter so that when you bite into a warm, juicy berry you really taste that awesome blueberry flavor.

I've been reading a great cookbook called The Sweeter Side of Amy's Bread and decided to jump off from their recipe for French Blueberry Muffins. I like oatmeal and brown sugar in breakfast foods, plus whole wheat flour for flavor and heartiness, so the dry ingredients changed a fair amount. Since I had brown sugar, I also included some baking soda not in the original recipe. The molasses in the brown sugar interact with the baking soda to make the muffins lighter. Egg substitute was easier to measure for the reduced amount of egg, but I think that 2 medium eggs would also work. Their recipe called for whole milk but I had 2% in the fridge, so that was changed, too.

Finally, I had fresh blueberries. Having never tried this recipe with frozen ones, I'm recommending that if at all possible, go with the fresh ones. Think of the flavor and anti-oxidants!

These don't need additional butter or anything else, really. They are moist, bursting with blueberry flavor and heartier than some muffins because of the whole wheat flour and oats. They are hardly like the French ones in the book, but the proportions remain the same, for which I thank authors Amy Scherber and Toy Kim Dupree.


With a bowl of fresh fruit and a cup of coffee these muffins make getting up with the sun a fine way to start the day.

Hearty Fresh Blueberry Muffins
based on French Blueberry Muffins in The Sweeter Side of Amy's' Bread

1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup rolled oats
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons egg substitute (or 2 medium eggs)
¾ cup milk (I used 2%)
Grated zest from ½ a lemon
1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F with rack in the middle of the oven. Grease 8 muffin cups or line 8 cups with cupcake papers.

In a large bowl combine the flours, oats, sugars, baking powder, baking soda and salt with a whisk.

In another bowl whisk together the melted butter, egg substitute or eggs, milk and lemon zest.

Add the wet ingredient mixture to the dry ingredient mixture, stirring with a fork for a few strokes; just enough to incorporate 90% of the dry ingredients into the wet.

Add the blueberries and continue gently mixing just until ingredients are combined. Immediately scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin, dividing the batter as evenly as possible among the cups.

Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan half way at 10 minutes. Muffins are done when the tops are golden brown and when a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean (well, there may be blueberry juice clinging to it, but no uncooked batter, OK?)

Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool some more if you can wait that long. Enjoy these muffins while still warm or serve within 12 hours for the moistest muffins. Wrap any remaining muffins airtight and store in the fridge.

Makes 6-8 muffins

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