There is possibly only bad thing I can say about these muffins: they’re in the kitchen and I’m strewn across the couch in the living room.
That means we’re separated by at least 20 feet, and that’s too much.
Blueberry muffins. Is there anything more delightful? I mean let’s be honest: muffins, in general, make cake an acceptable form of breakfast. I’m down with that. And these muffins? Well, they’re pretty delish. Soft and moist with bright flavors from the lemon zest, they’re just flat out yummy.
There are probably as many muffin recipes as there are food blogs out there. I’m not saying this is the best blueberry muffin recipe bar none (I’ve only ever tried a few), but it’s certainly the best I’ve come across so far. They’re not loaded with stick after stick of butter (sorry, butter lovers), but that’s part of what I love about them. I’m used to muffins being completely indulgent and over the top. I can safely keep these muffins around the house, munch on them throughout the week, and know that I haven’t completely sabotaged myself.
So there you have it: a blueberry muffin recipe that is husband-tested and doggy-approved.
First, mix up the topping: combine the sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl and set aside. (This makes a lot. Next time, I’m halving the topping.)
Combine blueberries, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, mashing the berries with a spoon or fork, until the mixture becomes thick, about 6 minutes.
Let this cool down while you work on the muffin batter.
Soak 1 teaspoon of lemon zest into 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and let sit.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 1/8 cups sugar and the eggs until thick, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined. Strain the lemon zest and add to the mixture. Whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla until combined.
Using a rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and remaining blueberries into the flour mixture until just moistened.
Spray a muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups.
Spoon 1 teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into the center of each mound of batter.
Using a chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter using a figure-eight motion. Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over muffins. (Again, this recipe calls for way more sugar than I think is necessary. Start by adding a little sugar, then adjust as you see fit.)
Bake at 425 degrees until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 15 to 19 minutes, rotating muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time. Cool for 5 minutes in the muffin tin, then transfer to a wire rack and cool 5 minutes more.
Hi, little guys! Aren’t you the cutest thing ever?
Wait for it…
Now that’s a good lookin’ muffin!
Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Sugar
*Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated via Carnal Dish.
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
- 2 cups fresh blueberries, picked over
- 1 1/8 cups sugar, plus 1 teaspoon
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
- 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- For the topping: Stir together the sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl. Set aside.
- For the muffins: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Bring 1 cup blueberries, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest to simmer in a 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 1/4 cup, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Soak 1 teaspoon of lemon zest into 1 tablespoon of lemon juice while the berries cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
- Whisk remaining 1 1/8 cups of sugar and eggs together in a medium bowl until thick and homogenous, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined.
- Strain the 1 teaspoon of lemon zest of most of it’s moisture and add to the mixture — discard the lemon juice. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and remaining cup blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened (batter will be very lumpy with a few spots of dry flour; do not over mix).
- Use ice cream scoop or large spoon to divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly). Spoon 1 teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound of batter. Using a chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter using figure-eight motion. Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over muffins. (I didn’t think all that sugar was necessary and went light on the sugar. You might have a lot leftover.)
- Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 15 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 a wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.