Saturday, July 25, 2020

Lemon Blueberry Crumble Muffins & A Question...

Do you ever dream of living in another city for even just a year?  Like where in the world would you live if you knew you could find a job, live comfortably and have your family with you? (Now I should add...if Covid weren't a thing.) In an imaginary world where it wouldn’t shake up family life, but you could explore a new place, have adventures in a new city, experience new things.  Maybe it's for two years and not just one.  I personally think about this often, especially now with the world the way it is, but then can never take the jump.  Like for years I have dreamed about living in New York.  People have said it would eat me alive or I would hate it, but it has never been those things that have scared me.  It’s more that I have never wanted to shake things up.  I live for a schedule, I never want to do something my family might seriously question, but maybe someday…

(Studying for an event the last time I was in NYC...
enjoying the space and this blueberry muffin at Magnolia bakery.)

Blueberry muffins make me think of two things: making blueberry muffins from a box as a kid at home and trips to New York when you grab a muffin and a coffee for breakfast (especially if you happen to be near the Magnolia Bakery on the Upper West side).  Muffins as a kid were a special treat, made even more special when they were served at dinner time.  Now though I only take the time to make them for breakfast, and these blueberry muffins I made two weekends in a row when my sister-in-law stopped through Richmond and then my dad the following weekend.  (Side note: I must admit I LOVE cooking breakfast for people.  It is my favorite meal of the day, and I don't tend to go all out just for myself.)  These muffins are a take on Joy the Baker's browned butter blueberry muffins and easy to throw together.  I love that they call for melted butter, which is such a simple thing, but can make life so much easier sometimes.  So, if you are having guests in town, or you just want some muffins, give these a try this summer when blueberries are at their best!

Okay, okay so you can totally do blueberries or raspberries in these.  The second time I made them, I made a several of both, since my dad is more of a raspberry fan than a blueberry fan.

All of the lemon zest, so that you really get a nice lemon flavor coming through these.

Lemon Blueberry (or Raspberry) Crumble Muffins: (makes about 12-15 muffins)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus one tablespoon for coating the berries)
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
zest from 1 1/2 lemons
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup milk
1 large egg,  plus 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 tablespoon lemon juice (or the juice of one lemon)
2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed (or raspberries) (if using frozen blueberries, thaw the blueberries and drain liquid before using)

Crumble Topping:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar

1. Place a rack in upper third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.  Line a muffin tin with paper or foil liners and set aside.

2.  For the muffins, in a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, including the lemon zest, and then set aside.

3.  In a small microwave safe bowl, or on the stove top, melt the butter until just melted.  Let come to room temperature.  In a large bowl, whisk together the milk and egg plus egg yolk.  Then add in the melted butter once cooled and the lemon juice.  This may look curdled but trust me it's fine.  (The lemon juice and milk will do this, plus if you milk is super cold it will cause the butter to solidify a bit)

4.  In a bowl, lightly coat the berries with one tablespoon flour, removing any excess flour.

5.  To prepare the crumble, in a small or medium bowl mix together the flour and sugar.  Then using your hands, a fork or a pastry blender, incorporate the cold butter into the flour/sugar mixture until crumbly, and then set aside.  (I used my hands and found this the quickest and easiest method.)

6. Next, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in one addition.  Using a spatula here really helps, and then you won't have a tendency to over mix.  Next, fold in berries just until mixed.  

7.  Then, fill the muffin liners a little over 3/4 full, and top with the crumble.  Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (no batter attached).  Cool muffins a few minutes in the muffin tin and then remove to cooling rack.  Enjoy warm or at room temperature!

(These stay delicious if stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. I highly recommend warming them in the microwave for 10-12 seconds!)

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