For the past few days I have been plagued with the worst cold known to man. Okay maybe it isn’t that bad but it really is the first time I have been sick since having my first child and trying to balance it all has been a bit overwhelming. My first clue that I was coming down with something was when I went to drink one of my favorite beverages and it didn’t taste right. Of course if the taste buds are going then it’s a dead giveaway that a severe cold is on the horizon. What is also a dead giveaway of a poor blueberry muffin is a lackluster, watery tasting blueberry.
Sadly, the most readily available blueberries provided in markets across the country are very bland in flavor. If you use these in even the best muffin formula, you will be extremely disappointed. The key to the greatest blueberry muffin is starting with a great blueberry. But what is one to do if you do not have fresh, wild blueberries to pick. Most formulas will just add more blueberries. A lot of times more equates to better but in a muffin formula like this it is quite the opposite.
If you choose to add too many blueberries to the muffin batter they will simply sink to the bottom of the pan, weighing down the muffin and not evenly distributing blueberry flavor throughout. In order to properly intensify the blueberry flavor of the muffins, a mixture of fresh blueberries and blueberries cooked down to a jam consistency and mixed into the batter just before baking. By cooking down the blueberries with a bit of sugar, the watery blueberries become flavorful and able to boost the muffins much like a wild berry does.
I truly enjoyed these muffins. They were delicious and even with my taste buds not at their prime I was able to taste the blueberry flavor shining through. My boyfriend exclaimed they taste just as good as they look and coming from a person who is not the biggest fan of sweets that means a lot to me. This formula makes 12 large muffins so you may want to make a double batch 🙂
Very Blueberry Streusel Muffins
- 3 tbsp. Granulated Sugar
- 3 tbsp. Dark Brown Sugar
- Pinch of Salt
- 3 ½ oz. (½ cup plus 3 tbsp.) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 5 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, melted
- 10 oz. (2 cups) Fresh Blueberries, washed & picked over
- 8 oz. (1 1/8 cups) plus 1 tsp. Sugar
- 12 ½ oz. (2 ½ cups) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 2 ½ tsp. Baking Powder
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 2 Large Eggs
- 4 tbsp. (½ stick) Unsalted Butter, melted & cooled slightly
- ¼ cup Vegetable Oil
- ¾ cup Milk
- 1 ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
- Combine sugars, salt and flour in a small bowl. Drizzle the melted butter over the mixture and toss with a fork until until evenly moistened and mixture has pea-size pieces throughout. Set aside.
- Adjust oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat oven to 425°. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Bring 1 cup of blueberries and 1 tsp. sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing the blueberries and stirring them frequently, until they have broken down and mixture has thickened into a jam and reduced to about ¼ cup, approximately 6 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the remaining 8 oz. of sugar and eggs together in a medium bowl until thick and thoroughly mixed. Slowly whisk in the butter and oil until combined. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg mixture and remaining cup of blueberries into the flour mixture until just moistened. Be sure not to overmix. The batter will appear lumpy and have a few areas of dry flour. Do not try to mix them in or the muffins will become tough.
- Use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to properly divide batter into the muffin tin. Batter will completely fill the muffin cups and may mound slightly. Spoon 1 tsp. of cooked blueberry jam into center of each mound of batter. Using a chopstick or skewer, gently swirl the berry filling into the batter using a figure eight motion. Sprinkle the muffins evenly with the prepared streusel topping.
- Bake muffins until the tops are golden and just firm, approximately 17 to 19 minutes. Be sure to rotate the muffin tin halfway through baking. Cool muffins in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool for another 5 minutes. Serve warm or store in an airtight container for 3 days.
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