Every summer, when blueberries are abundant, inexpensive, and taste like candy, I eat them by the handful, and bake with them until my family cries for mercy. The first few (okay, maybe dozen) pies I make, they are very happy, but then someone will coyly ask, “remember that delicious peach pie you used to make?” and I know it’s time to cool it with the blueberries. So I just move on to the many other wonderful goodies you can make with blueberries. The past two years I have purchased 10 pounds of blueberries at a time from my local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Needless to say, I have pulled out all the blueberry recipes from the past, and have added many new ones to my repertoire. I’m always amazed at how many recipes I have collected over the years for blueberry muffins. It’s hard to imagine that there could be so many different versions of something so simple. I believe that it’s the actual taste of the blueberries that contributes so greatly to the outcome of each baked item. Out of season, when the blueberries taste like blue styrofoam (for $6.00 a pint), the finished item is still quite tasteless, no matter how much sugar you add to it. But in season, it is almost irrelevant what else is in the batter. I do however, have my favorite recipes, especially for blueberry muffins.
This recipe for Blueberry Corn Muffins is indeed one of my favorites. It is not too sweet, so you really taste the blueberries, and the cornmeal gives it a bit of substance. Don’t get me wrong, I love those light, sweet, cake-like blueberry muffins as well ( and will also share some of those recipes with you at another time) but there is something about this muffin that has had me making it for many years. There were several summers, when my children were young, that many conversations with my girlfriends consisted of recipes for summer fruit in season. We would sit at the pool and swap so many recipes, that I really can’t remember which friend passed me this recipe, cut from a newspaper. But what I do recall is how much fun we had those lazy summers, when our biggest problem was what to do with all the fruit we would buy at the local farm before it went bad. Well, maybe that wasn’t our biggest problem, but that’s what we focused on. What fun!
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 TBSP baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup plus 1TBSP sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 TBSP melted butter
1 1/4 cups blueberries
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter muffin tins or line them with fluted paper liners. See note.
2. Mix the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, there-fourths teaspoon of the cinnamon, salt and one-half cup sugar together in a bowl.
3. Mix the milk, egg, and vanilla together and stir into the dry ingredients just until the ingredients are moistened. Stir in the melted butter. Lightly mix in the blueberries.
4. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins until tins are nearly filled to the top. Combine the remaining sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on the tops of the muffins.
5. Place in the oven and bake until the muffins have risen in peaks over the tops of the tins and are lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Cool briefly before serving. they are yummy warm, but are also good for days at room temperature. These also freeze nicely.
The yield is 8 muffins. So if you have 10 pounds of blueberries sitting in your fridge like I do, you’ll want to double the recipe.
NOTE: This recipe was tested with fund-ounce muffin tins. With three-ounce tins, the yiled will be 12 muffins and the baking time a little shorter. With five ad one-third ounce or six-ounce tins, it will make six large muffins that require longer baking.
ALL recipes calling for blueberries would be greatly appreciated.