Monday, July 5, 2010

Red, White and Blueberry

Banana walnut is probably my favorite muffin, followed by a tie between cranberry walnut and lemon poppy seed. But Blueberry Muffins are a classic. I cooked a lot on the Fourth of July...Considering it was over 90 degrees outside, Chris and I decided to stay put in the AC (air conditioning, not Atlantic City like Mom thought). While he fought off the wraiths and Medusa on his new video game, I cooked up a storm. In celebration of our country's Independence Day, I'll focus on the blueberry since I made their famous muffins.

Is there a more American berry? Some history from "For centuries, blueberries were gathered from the forests and the bogs by Native Americans and consumed fresh and also preserved. The Northeast Native American tribes revered blueberries and much folklore developed around them. The blossom end of each berry, the calyx, forms the shape of a perfect five-pointed star; the elders of the tribe would tell of how the Great Spirit sent "star berries" to relieve the children's hunger during a famine.The juice also made an excellent dye for baskets and cloth. In food preparation, dried blueberries were added to stews, soups and meats." I've purchased dried blueberries before, but at $16.99 a pound I enjoyed them in my homemade granola but haven't ventured to introduce them to any stews, soups or meats and probably never will. In fact, it will be only fresh blueberries entering our home and peak of the season is now!

I remember picking blueberries with my middle school BFF and her dad. We'd return with pounds of the dark blue jewels and they'd make their way into pancakes, pie, sauce for ice cream and of course, the classic muffin. Wherever there's an American bakery, there is a blueberry muffin. I highly recommend this recipe from Alton Brown. The cake flour makes the muffins melt-in-your-mouth-light between the bursts of blueberries. I used a combination of sugar, maple syrup and honey; blueberries and raspberries...again, whatever I have available! I purchased cake flour from the local Pennsylvania Dutch market but here is an easy substitute: 1 C - 2 Tbsp all purpose flour + 2 Tbsp cornstarch = 1 C cake flour. This recipe makes 12 muffins.

  • 12 1/2 oz cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • heavy pinch salt
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C yogurt
  • 1 1/2 C fresh blueberries
  • vegetable spray for muffin tins

Preheat oven to 380 degrees F.

In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In another large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, egg and yogurt. Add the dry ingredients reserving 1 Tbsp of the dry ingredients and toss with the blueberries. Stir mixture for a count of 10. Add 1 C blueberries to mixture and stir 3 more times. Reserve the 1/2 C of blueberries.

Add the mixture to the greased muffin tins. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 C blueberries on top of muffins and press down lightly. Place into the oven and increase the temperature to 400 degrees. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Remove from the oven and turn out, upside down on a tea towel to cool completely. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.


  1. The bluberry muffins are delish! The cake flour makes them very moist and light. I also like the history of bluberries you provided. Great job!

  2. Great entry. I loved the history of the blueberry and the fact that you included the link to the blueberry website. Not only are you a talented chef ( I have been lucky enough to enjoy your food) you are an equally talented writer. It's nice to know you have a fall back in case your day job doesn't work out. Keep it up--I can't wait to read more.