I may have mentioned a while back that my friend Alice T. asked me if I had a really good blueberry muffin recipe. Truth was, I didn't, which sent me on a quest to find one. While I accept that everyone has their own opinion of what is "best," I tried several so-named best recipes from different sources, only to be disappointed with leaden or sodden lumps of dough with blueberries interspersed. I began to believe I was seeking an ideal which lived only in my imagination: fluffy, blueberry-goodness, in a muffin form, not too sweet (so that let out anything with a strudel topping), and without crazy ingredients or procedures. I had a favorite, blueberry tea bread, so why would I need a blueberry muffin recipe. Well, I just did and so did my friend Alice.
This morning, I discovered a really, really, really good blueberry muffin recipe. It's reportedly from Cooks Illustrated, which was my reason for trying just one more recipe; they call it their Best Blueberry Muffin. I messed up on following the directions, and these muffins still came out moist, fluffy, blueberry-good! I'm just sayin' the search stops here as far as I'm concerned. Alice, you have to try these!
Really, Really, Really Good Blueberry Muffins
(found on food.com)
2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries, preferably the small, wild kind
Put your baking rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350*F. Spray a standard muffin tin** with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt (or you could just sift all the ingredients together).
In a second medium-sized bowl, whisk the egg until it is light-colored, about 20 seconds. Add the sugar and whisk until well combined, about 30 seconds. Add the butter in 2-3 additions, whisking well to combine after each addition. Add the sour cream in 2 additions, whisking until just combined.
Add the frozen berries to the dry ingredients and gently toss to combine. Add the sour cream and fold with a rubber spatula until batter comes together and berries are evenly distributed, about 25-30 seconds. There may be some small streaks of flour but that's okay; it's more important not to overmix.
Fill your muffin tins about 1/2 to 2/3 full. Bake until it's a beautiful golden color or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. It's okay if a little blueberry clings to to the toothpick, that may be inevitable, just look to insure that there is no wet batter.
Turn the muffins out onto a wire rack, turn right side up, and allow to cool for several minutes before enjoying.
**My Notes: Well, as I said, I messed up following the directions, assuming, erroneously that I already knew what I was supposed to do. HA! I added all the dry ingredients in the first bowl (the sugar should have been in the second bowl), beat the egg, sour cream, and salted butter in the second. (I did reduce the salt to 1/4 teaspoon to allow for the salt in the butter.) I tossed the still-frozen blueberries in a little flour to give the batter something to stick to so the blueberries wouldn't all sink to the bottom. I added the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients (mixed ever so gently in 2 additions, I did see that!), and then folded in the blueberries.
The recipe states to use a standard sized muffin tin, but I found I had enough batter to make 18 muffins that crowned nicely without spilling over the top, as I'm not keen on that muffin-top look and clean-up.