Wednesday, July 7, 2010

AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN: BEST BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

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This has become my new favorite blueberry muffin recipe.  America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) has refined the classic recipe and brought it to new heights.  Cooking down some of the blueberries into a jam and then swirling that into the batter with more blueberries makes for an intense blueberry flavor.  But that’s not the whole story.  The muffin itself is tender, delicate, flavorful and just sweet enough.   And ATK has added a crispy lemon-sugar topping that delivers the final knockout blow.  No exotic flavors here – just simple ingredients that blend beautifully to highlight the blueberries.  This is one great muffin recipe and you can be sure I’ll be making it often. 
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Best Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
Rating:  10 out of 10
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INGREDIENTS:
Blueberry Jam:
1-1/4 cup blueberries
2 tsp. sugar
(ATK calls for 1 cup blueberries + 1 tsp. sugar, but I had too much batter for just one standard tin.  Because I added the mini tin, I needed more jam.)

Lemon-Sugar Topping:
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
(ATK calls for 1/3 cup sugar+ 1-1/2 tsp. lemon zest, but, again, I needed just a bit more.)


Muffin:
2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sea salt
2 large eggs
1-1/8 cups (8 oz.) sugar
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1-1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk (I used 1 cup nonfat Smart Balance milk + 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar)
1-1/3 cup fresh blueberries (I increased the blueberries by 1/3 cup.)

Make the jam:  Combine berries and sugar in small saucepan over medium heat.  Break berries with spoon and cook down to 1/4 cup.  Let cool.

Make the topping:  Mix sugar and zest together in small bowl.  (I used my mini blender.)  Set aside.

Make the Muffin:  Heat oven to 425F (400F for dark or coated pans).  Set baking rack to upper middle of oven.  Grease two muffin tins:  one standard and one mini, each holding 12 muffins.  Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in large bowl.  Set aside.

In a  small bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar till light, about 45 seconds.  In a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, oil,vanilla, and buttermilk.  Add egg mixture and continue to whisk till well combined.  Fold wet mixture into flour mixture with a spoon or spatula.  Mix lightly and leave the batter slightly lumpy. 

Divide batter evenly among tins.  (ATK folds the blueberries into  the batter.  You can  choose to do this, but I found that some muffins got very little and others got a lot of blueberries.)  Divide the blueberries evenly among the muffins, pressing them down with your fingers. 
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Spoon about 1 tsp. of jam onto tops of standard muffins, and use the rest for the minis.  Swirl the jam into the muffins using a skewer or chopstick and a figure eight motion. 
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Sprinkle each muffin with some of the lemon-sugar mixture.  Place muffin tins in oven on center rack; close door; reduce oven temperature to 325F.

Bake minis 10-13 minutes (they won’t brown).  Bake standards 16-19 minutes, or till tops are set and toothpick inserted near center returns with just a few crumbs.  Cool in pan 5 minutes before transferring to rack to finish cooling.  Yield:  12 standard + 12 mini muffins
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19 comments:

Donna-FFW said...

Judy.. You can bet I will try these. They look fantastic!!

MelindaRD said...

Wow, that is incredible. I love the idea with the jam and the lemon topping. Yum!

Juliana said...

Oh Judy...your blueberries muffin sure look so yummie, love the idea of the swirl...they are perfect :-)

Marge said...

These look so delicious! I can't wait to try this recipe.

bella said...

I promise that I'll make this recipe. I adore blueberry muffins and have been making the same recipe for decades, but I'm ready for something new like this version! Thanks, Roz

Chef Dennis said...

now those do look like some great muffins!! cooking the blueberries down does sound like a good idea, and the lemon sugar is such a nice touch...next time I make muffins I am going to try this!

Gloria said...

Judy these mufins look fantastic, delicious! I adore bleberries! gloria

Nickname unavailable said...

Just finished making these and wow! These are definitely the best blue berry muffins I have ever had in my life. I'm not a good baker so for them to come out delicious means this is a fool-proof recipe. Thanks, Judy!!

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Love America's Test Kitchen, love blueberry muffins. Great combo!!

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner
www.mawhats4dinner.com

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe! We tried it this weekend with friends. It turned out a bit dense, but the taste was still delicious. I will try it again. Our muffins turned out just as great looking!

Judy said...

Anonymous, Please do try the recipe again. Be sure you barely mix it. Muffins demand a very light hand, and one of the most common mistakes is to over beat the batter. Leave some lumps and even some splashes of flour showing. These muffins should be light and tender,not dense.

taralynn819 said...

I just made these today. I watched the video of the episode last week and ran out to buy the ingredients! The only change I made was subbed wheat flour for some of the flour but kept everything else exactly the same. It really is THE BEST!!

Kristie said...

We saw this on ATK last week too. We are making them tomorrow (unless something comes up) and I'll post on my blog. Thanks Judy for posting the recipe!

Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site www.blogger.com
Is this possible?

Judy said...

Anonymous, My site is not blogger.com. I sometimes exchange links with other bloggers if their site is compatible with mine.

Foodessa said...

It's great of you to have adjusted the recipe to fit our standard muffin tin. I would love to make these beauties this weekend.
I so love berries!

Wonderful photos ;o)

Flavourful wishes,
Claudia

Anonymous said...

Just made these and they are officially the best muffins I've ever made/eaten! Better than cupcakes, I'd have to say.
The only difference in mine was that I used all the batter and didn't have to use the mini muffin tins, so I just got a dozen large muffins (they were filled right to the top). Also, I used no where near the amount of crumble topping the recipe calls for.

Judy said...

Anonymous, thanks so much for your feedback. I was afraid to fill to the top, now I know I can without them spilling over.

rida habib chorfa said...

I have never tasted it