“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
"Winter is dead.”
~AA Milne, when we were very young
NOTE: I am away at the moment helping my mother with her treatment for lung cancer. I have set up a few posts to post whilst I am away as a special surprise. Some are new and some are reposts of old favourites that you may have forgotten, or if you are a new reader may not even have seen. I'll be back at the end of May, but in the meantime . . . Enjoy!
PS - I will only have sporadic internet use, so if you ask a question and I don't get back to you . . . it's not that I don't want to. It just may take me a while.
Wednesday, 26 September 2012
We were invited to some friends this afternoon for coffee(Herbal tea) and cake. I've known Jan for about 8 or 9 years now, but this was the first time we would be meeting in person. We've talked many times on the telephone and exchanged many e-mails, and I don't know why exactly it took so long for us to get together . . . but it finally happened. I was so excited to be finally meeting her.
I wanted to bring something with me so I decided to bake us some lovely Blueberry Muffins. (Y'all know how much I love blueberries!) Like the lemon that I am . . . I left them sitting on the counter top and never realized I had forgotten them until we were almost there. So I quickly picked up a nice box of chocolates in a convenience store on the way and ended up arriving muffin-less . . .
I know . . . all together now . . . What am I like???
Nevertheless we had a lovely visit with each other and even the guys got along well. If she enjoyed me even half as much as I enjoyed her, then it was a success, I'd say. We're meeting again for Thanksgiving. We're both Canadian and agree that sharing Thanksgiving with a European is not quite the same as sharing it with a fellow Canuck. I can't wait! It's just going to be the best Thanksgiving!!!
She had baked a lovely carrot cake, so we didn't exactly miss the muffins . . . but I sure would have loved to be able to share them with her and her lovely husband. These are truly the best Blueberry Muffins ever.
Adapted from a recipe in my King Arthur Flour Baking book, they always bake up nice and light and are so moist and flavourful. We just love them.
I like to rub my lemon zest into my sugars when I am using lemon zest. It's a little trick I learned from my mate Dorie Greenspan. It just makes anything with lemon zest in it taste even lemonier! Or at least I think it does . . . and it smells good enough to eat while you are rubbing it in . . . and you haven't even started to really cook yet!
I like to use lots of berries, and do use more than the recipe calls for, but you can feel free to use as many or as few as you want. You can even mix up the berries and use a combination. That is quite yummy too. Rich and buttery, and stogged full of lots of berries, these muffins are real winners . . . and that little cap on the top of buttery rich lemon icing doesn't hurt either.
It's like the icing on a very delicious cake, only better, coz . . . it's a muffin, and . . . its just for you.
*Glazed Blueberry Muffins*
If you don't think these are the best blueberry muffins ever, I'll eat my hat!
the finely grated zest of two unwaxed lemons
95g of golden caster sugar (1/2 cup)
60g of light brown muscovado sugar (1/3 cup)
57g of unsalted butter, softened (1/4 cup_
60ml of sunflower oil (1/4 cup)
2 large free range eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract
265g of plain flour (2 2/3 cups)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
250ml of whole milk (1 cup)
150g of fresh blueberries (1 1/2 cups)
For the glaze:
3 TBS butter, melted
130g of icing sugar, sifted (1 cup)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
the juice of half a lemon
hot water as needed
Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F/ gas mark 7. Lightly grease a medium size muffin tin, or line with paper liners. Set aside.
Combine both sugars in a large bowl. Rub in the lemon zest with your fingertips until it is quite fragrant. (A little trick I learned from Dorie.) Drop in the butter and cream the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the oil, eggs and vanilla and beat well together. Sift together the flour, soda, baking powder and salt. Add to the creamed mixture, alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with flour. Combine all well together. Fold in the blueberries. Divide the mixture evenly between the muffin cups, filling them almost to the top.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan while you make the glaze.
Whisk together all of the glaze ingredients until smooth and drizzelable, adding only enough hot water as needed to get the right consistency. Dip the warm muffins into the glaze one at a time, glazing the tops and letting any excess drip off. Place onto a wire rack and allow the topping to set.
Serve warm or cool. Store any leftovers in an airtight container and use within two days.