One of my favorite pairings is lemon and blueberry; their flavors are just meant for one another and this morning I decided to bake a muffin that would showcase this. However, instead of just adding blueberries to a lemon muffin, I made a blueberry compote from last year's harvest. It was my last bag in the freezer and had just the right amount left in it, although these muffins would be just as perfect with fresh blueberries when in season.
My grandfather planted blueberry bushes in the 70s that we enjoyed long after he passed, but until then, whenever my mother baked something with blueberries, the choice was the wild huckleberries that grew along our long driveway. They're in the same family as blueberries (and cranberries) and are one of the three indigenous fruits to America. Because they have to be hand-picked, farmers have never cultivated these, but rather chose to do the larger blueberries for commercial use. It was, however, a great chore for us to do when we knew the reward would be pies, cobblers, jam, or muffins as a result of our labor!
Lemon Muffins with Blueberry Compote
For the Compote:
1 1/2 - 1 2/3 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
In a small sauce pan, heat on low/medium the blueberries and sugar until the berries have burst, stirring occasionally. (This took about 10 minutes with frozen berries.) Remove and allow the berry compote to cool.
Preheat oven to 400F-degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with (tulip) paper cups.
For the Muffins:
2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar ( I use a superfine that "dissolves faster")
1/2 cup vegetable oil (not Canola!)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
2 1/4 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cups Lemon Bits (optional, but really boosts the flavor)
In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat eggs until mixed thoroughly on medium speed. Turn mixer to low and gradually add the sugar. Add the oil, vanilla, lemon zest and juice and beat together to combine.
Remove bowl from the stand and using a spatula or a mixing whisk, add the dry ingredients and the sour cream. The reason not to mix these ingredients on the stand is to ensure you won't "over mix". Stir in the Lemon Bits, if using.
Place a generous tablespoon full of batter in the bottom of the paper liner.
Add about a tablespoon of blueberry compote and then top with about 2 tablespoons more of batter.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes (on Convection) or until the muffins are a golden brown.
The aroma was wonderful and seeing the compote bubbling from the cracks made my mouth water. I found these cute candied lemon slices on the King Arthur catalogue website and decided to do a simple glaze to secure each one on top.
1 cup confectioners' sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. light Karo syrup
For many of us this period of Lent (from Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday) has been a season of
penance, prayer, and self-denial and is culminated by rejoicing at Easter. These muffins would be a wonderful addition to your brunch menu or just as a pre-snack before the egg hunt begins. However, whatever your beliefs may be, Happy Spring to All~Enjoy!
|It's like having blueberry jam on your muffin!|