I could use a little muffin top.

Not the kind around my belly—the kind that goes in my mouth and is full of blueberries. 

Do you ever get those strange cravings that won’t go away until you’ve eaten what you’re craving? 

Last week, I was craving blueberry muffins with a crumbly topping slathered in melted butter. I tried making cookies, cake, and ice cream topping. Nothing satisfied. I wanted blueberry muffins.

I used to make muffins biweekly. When my kids were young, I’d make them for breakfast or an after-school snack (confession: that’s what happens when you make them for yourself at 10 am and you’re the only one home). 

You’d think muffins were easy to make. No, they are not. I’ve made my share of bad batches of muffins over the years. I was always trying to replicate the box muffin mix I grew up eating occasionally for Sunday brunch. Remember the one with the tiny can of mushy wild blueberries that would turn the batter grey if you stirred it too much. 

My early experiments turned out muffins that tasted like cupcakes; way too sweet and decadent to be called a muffin. Other times, they were too healthy to be called a muffin. My kids called those yuckins.

This recipe is all about the blueberries. There are no lemon, almonds, oatmeal, or orange juice added—nothing to hide any imperfections. The only imperfection these have is a large muffin top. But, if that’s what you’re looking for, then they’re perfect.

Make sure your blueberries are the wild kind. They will have more “blueberry” flavor and they’re smaller. Big berries have a tendency to create big sinkholes in your muffin. Also, make sure your baking powder is fresh. If the baking powder is stale your muffins will be flat and not have a nice dome on top—the added streusel can weigh the top down. Baking powder and baking soda should be replaced every 4-5 months.

 

Big Beautiful Blueberry Crumb Muffins

Makes 12 small or 6 large muffins

1 1/3 cups flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1/3 tsp salt

½ cup butter, melted and cooled slightly 

¾ cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg, room temperature

1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

1 cup frozen wild blueberries

For the topping:

¾ cup flour

¾ cup brown sugar

1/3 cup butter, softened

¼ tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla

Plus, more butter for serving

 

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a muffin tin by buttering and dusting with a light dusting of flour; set aside.

For the topping: In a small bowl, combine, flour, brown sugar, and salt. Add the butter and vanilla. Mix with a fork until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Squeeze mixture to form small clumps and set aside. 

For the muffins: In a small bowl, mix the buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. In another large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk mixture. Stir just until combined. Quickly stir in the frozen blueberries and Spoon into the prepared muffin tin. Top each muffin with crumb topping. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Top each muffin with a small pat of butter. Serve warm.

 

Lisa Erickson is a food columnist who loves adventure and food. You can find more recipes by emailing her at wildchowrecipes@gmail.com.

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