In search of perfect blueberry muffins…

“Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb, Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum In the cavernous pail of the first one to come!”

Robert Frost

The first time I ever tried a perfect blueberry muffin, I must admit was in US – a small cafe, in a small town, with a breath taking view of Lake Superior. Now retrospectively looking back, I’m not sure what embedded the impression in my memory – the muffin itself or the surroundings, but I will remember that moment for a very long time.
There and then I promised myself one day I will bake that perfect blueberry muffin and eating it I will relive that perfect day on the lake.
 
 I know it is just a muffin, but the memories that go with it… Mmmm…
Last Sunday I spent half a day looking for a perfect muffin baking tray. Found it. And, of course, it is far past blueberry season – bought the frozen ones together with all other ingredients.
Finding the perfect recipe was not an easy task either – all of the bloggers claimed so. I was left with trial and error method, which I believed proved to be quite successful with the first try :).
 
Ingredients:
* 1,5 – 2 cups blueberries
* some lemon peel (I grated 1 small lemon)
* 3 cups all-purpose flour 
* 1,5 tablespoons baking powder
* 0,5 teaspoon salt
* ~120 grams (a little over half a 200g pack) butter, at room temperature – softened
* 1 cup sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 0,5 Litre / 1,5 cup plain yogurt (I added a dash of cream)
 
The process:
 
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
 
2. Whisk together the dry ingredients (except for sugar)- flour, baking powder and salt.
 
3. In a separate bowl (I would strongly suggest not doing it by hand unless you have spent your share of time working on your biceps) beat the butter and sugar until evenly incorporated and fluffy. Beat in 1 egg at a time, mixing in between, add the lemon peel.
 
4. I did follow one specific recipe with some of my own interpretation, but I did stick strictly to the mixing and beating process of the dough… Take half of the dry ingredients and beat in the dough until just evenly incorporated, add and beat in 1/3rd of the yogurt. Add the half of the remaining dry ingredients, beat in and once again – add and beat in half of the remaining yogurt. Finale of the beating – add and beat in the remaining dry ingredients, followed with the remaining yogurt. Don’t overdo with the beating though. Fold in the berries.
 
1 thing I found not so good with the frozen berries – I defrosted them and they were a bit of a mush… I drained the excess liquid and they did work out perfectly fine in the end. And yet, the 2nd time I will try adding frozen ones – will let you know how that worked. The reason for trying that is that the defrosted berries colored the dough blue and I wanted more contrast in the color :).
 
5. I used the standard 12 muffin tray, lined with muffin paper cups. Pouring the batter into the cups may not be the right suggestion since it is quite thick – I used a spatula and a spoon. I had the cups pretty much full of dough with a little heap. And there was still some dough left for the 2nd round. 
 
6. One of my favorite parts (before tasting) – shoot the tray into the oven for 25-35 minutes. Check 20-25 minutes later with a tooth pick how it is going.
 
I remember a long time ago, making something new was a different kind of anticipation – often disappointed if the food I was trying to make for the first time didn’t work out. Maybe I AM maturing after all :). Now I love the anticipation and the excitement to see how it all worked out and yet – if it ever doesn’t come out right – I role up my sleeves and try again!
 
The muffins turned out very good! Not announcing them to be perfect yet…. This was my first time after all!
 
Had one still warm with hot mint tea… A wonderful way to end and intense day!
 
Bon appetit!




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