Saturday, February 26, 2011

All American Blueberry Muffins

For Gill

For me America is the land of baking. Pancakes, brownies, cookies, whoopie pies. They are the stuff of dreams to an Anglo-Irish girl brought up on lardy cake, scones, crumpets and victoria sponge. The summit of America's baking achievements for me is the blueberry muffin. The ease of making, the simplicity of method, the crazy indigo of the vibrant berries in the light crumbed cake. Blueberries in Europe are never as good as American ones: ours are meaner and less flavoursome. But still each time I eat one I feel I am transported back to my first bite, in America, aged nine.
The recipe for these is adapted from a wonderful book called Bread for Breakfast by one Beth Hensperger (what a proper American name!!) And once again - an American recipe calls for American cup measures - if you don't have these, then check out my conversion chart - but do invest in them, they're inexpensive and kids love to use them when cooking.

They are supremely quick to whip up - from start to plate in just over 30 mins.

Makes 9
Preheat oven to 180C/ 375 F
Grease a 12 hole American muffin pan

1 1/2 cups plain white flour
1/4 cup brown plain flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar- firmly packed
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/4 cup sunflower/ canola oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp sour cream/ yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups blueberries

2 tsp demerera brown (crystallised) sugar

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir well.
Combine all the wet ingredients in a small bowl or jug and mix well.
Add wet to dry ingredients, stir until combined - do not over mix.
Fold in berries.
Spoon into tin, and sprinkle with the demerera sugar.
Fill the empty tin holes halfway with water to prevent tin from buckling.
Cook for 15-20 mins till risen and golden. Test centres with a skewer, it should come out clean.
Leave for 5 mins in tin, then gently prise out using a knife.

Serve warm with butter.  You can freeze them and gently reheat in the oven.

Other fruit can be used instead such as chopped apple/ pear/ peach/ raspberries...

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