My Mom makes the best blueberry muffins in the whole wide world. This is an incontestable fact, because I have never tasted anything so delicate, buttery and perfectly sweet in my life. Rather than being a muffin studded with berries, hers are a portable way to eat blueberries held together by muffin batter. They don’t need butter or jam, turn out every time, and will keep if (by some miracle) you don’t eat them all the day you bake a batch.
We have a family cookbook I have alluded to a handful of times; my gurka recipe is included, as is rutmousse. In the cookbook, on the page for this blueberry muffin recipe, there’s a note about how my Nana would start baking muffins whenever her brother Karl pulled into the driveway for a visit. I just finished reading a sweet little book called Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break, and it made me so nostalgic for the tradition of having coffee and sweets while visiting. My grandparents always seemed to have visitors, folks who dropped by to sit on the porch or in the living room and just talk. I loved being included in those chats, even if I was quietly listening on the periphery. I feel like we don’t spend enough time just sitting and talking with each other– everything is scheduled, or electronic, or over cocktails in a loud bar. One of my goals for this year and going forward is to fika more often. Come on over, I’ll put the kettle on and make some blueberry muffins. Maybe semlor, perhaps a nice coffee cake. Who’s in?
If you are able to get the tiny, intensely flavorful wild blueberries common in Maine in late summer, please use them here. They elevate the muffins to a new level. If I can get my hands on enough Washington huckleberries this summer, this is the first recipe I’ll make with them. Bottom line, use berries with some flavor; bordering on sour is okay, mealy and watery is not ideal. If you don’t have fresh blueberries, use the same amount of unthawed frozen berries; the flavor will be right but you may need another few minutes of cook time. By all means, make a batch of these beautiful blueberry muffins soon, while the blueberries are in their peak season. Then, invite some friends over for a visit.
Mom’s Blueberry Muffins (makes 8 oversized or 12 standard)
- 8 T. unsalted butter, softened
- 1 c. white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 c. flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 c. whole milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 1/2 c. blueberries, preferably fresh
- raw sugar to garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour, or line with papers, 8 oversized muffin cups or 12 standard cups.
Cream the butter, sugar and eggs together with a mixer until they’re light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl to make sure everything is well-incorporated. Sift together 1 3/4 c. flour, baking powder and salt; combine the milk and vanilla in a measuring cup or small bowl. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk mixture and finishing with milk, while the mixer runs on a low speed. Turn off the mixer as soon as the dry ingredients are no longer visible.
In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with the remaining 1/4 c. flour. (This helps prevent them from sinking to the bottom of your muffins.) Use a large wooden spoon or spatula to gently fold the blueberries, and all of the flour in the bowl, into your batter. Use a spoon or scoop to portion out the batter evenly and top each muffin with a light sprinkling of raw sugar if you want.
Bake the muffins for 25-35 mins. Rotate the pans after 15 mins. and check for doneness with a skewer or knife tip after 25 mins., adding 5 mins. to the timer as needed until they’re done. Remove the muffins promptly and cool slightly before serving. These blueberry muffins are wonderful warm from the oven, also delicious at room temperature. Wrap tightly and put into an airtight container to freeze for up to 3 months, or store leftover muffins in a tightly-covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days.