THE BEST BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
adapted from: America’s Test Kitchen
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 c. fresh blueberries, picked over
1 1/8 c. + 1 tsp. sugar
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
4 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1. For the topping: Stir the sugar and lemon zest together in a small bowl until combined; set aside.
2. For the muffins: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a standard muffin tin with vegetable oil spray (or line with paper liners and spray). Bring 1 cup of the blueberries and 1 tsp. of the sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing the berries with a spoon several times and stirring frequently, until the berries have broken down and the mixture is thickened about 6 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10-15 minutes.
3. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the remaining 1 1/8 cups sugar and eggs together in a medium bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in the butter and oil until combined. Whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg mixture and the remaining 1 cup blueberries into the flour mixture until just moistened (if adding whole blueberries – I don’t add them). The batter will be very lumpy with a few spots of dry flour; do not overmix.
4. Fill muffin cups 1/2 full with batter and top with a teaspoon or so of the cooked berry mixture. Use a toothpick and swirl together. Divide the remaining batter between muffin cups. The batter should completely fill the cups and mound slightly. Divide the remaining cooked berry mixture between muffin cups. Use a toothpick and gently swirl the berry filling into the batter using a figure-eight motion. Sprinkle the lemon sugar evenly over the muffins.
5. Bake until the muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17-18 minutes, rotating the muffin tin halfway through. Cool the muffins in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool 5 more minutes before serving. Yield: 12 muffins.