Blueberry Jam Muffins with Brown Sugar Streusel

May 7th

When blueberries are locally abundant and tasty (usually mid-summer) I find them too perfect to bake with and only eat them fresh. Since most recipes call for fresh berries, this puts me in the quandary of rarely (to never) making blueberry baked goods. It’s a sad quandary, really, since I heart blueberry baked goods. See the famous buckle (don’t just see it, make it).
Muffins are great as they’re easier to freeze and also allow you to exhibit a higher amount of self control (see, “cleaning up the edge” from the buckle post). When America’s test kitchen came out with a recipe specifically made for frozen berries, I was pumped. We are smoothie people so I always have a bag of Trader Joe’s organic blueberries in my freezer. These are called “jam” muffins because essentially you make some jam and then swirl it into the muffin batter, ensuring perfect blueberry flavor in every bite. Because the buckle has made me prefer my blueberry with cinnamon, I created a quick and easy topping that I felt complemented the muffins exceedingly well.
Disclaimer (with a story). As husband was eating his third straight muffin, he asks, “these are healthy muffins, right?” No, silly, is anything that tastes this good healthy? My favorite part about these babies is that the bites that don’t have any blueberry in them are STILL great. The batter itself was crazy good and I actually put my face in the mixing bowl to try to get at remains. It was a awkward and I’m still sort of embarrassed, but THAT is how good this batter is.
So maybe make them for Mother’s Day Brunch. If you’re the mother being celebrated you can honor yourself by splurging on blueberry baked goods. If your mother is the one being honored, tell her they’re healthy.

Teacher moment: There are 16 tablespoons in a cup. 1/2 cup, therefore, has 8 tbsp. 1/4, 4, and 1/8 c. has 2 tbsp. Below where I say 1 1/8 c. sugar? That’s 1 c. plus 2 tbsp. Just FYI.

Blueberry Jam Muffins with Brown Sugar Streusel

Makes 18 muffins

1 (12 oz) bag frozen blueberries

1 1/8 c.  plus 1 tsp. sugar

2 1/2 c. flour

2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1/4 c. vegetable or canola oil

1 c. buttermilk or clabbered milk *

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Topping

1/3 c. brown sugar

1/3 c. oats (quick or old fashioned)

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

2 tbsp. butter

*To make clabbered milk, place 1 tbsp. white vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup. Fill to 1 c. with lowfat, reduced fat, or whole milk. Stir and set aside for several minutes.

1. Preheat oven to 425 and line a muffin tin with paper liners. Combine 1 1/3 c. frozen blueberries with 1 tsp. sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat and reduce to simmer. Stir occasionally, cooking for about 6 minutes or until thickened. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool.

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2. Meanwhile, whisk flour, baking powder and salt.

3. In another bowl, whisk sugar (1 1/8 c.) and eggs until pale yellow, about 1 minute of constant whisking.

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4. Add butter and oil to egg mixture and whisk to combine well.

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5. Add buttermilk and vanilla and whisk well.

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6. Add wet mixture to dry mixture along with the rest of the blueberries. Mix gently and DO NOT OVERMIX.

7. Spoon mixture into lined muffin cups, filling about 2/3 of the way full. Place 1 tsp. of the reduced blueberry mixture on top of batter and, using a toothpick, swirl the mixture into the batter.

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8. To make topping, combine ingredients in a small bowl and use your fingertips to cut the butter into the sugar/oats. Sprinkle mixture over muffins.

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9. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until golden brown and “set” in the middle.

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10. Let cool for five minutes in the pan and remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Will keep at room temperature for several days but they’re fantastic served warm.

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Baby girl gobbled hers up lighting fast and then pointed at the counter saying, “MORE!” for at least the next three hours.

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