Blueberry muffins have always been my first love. Even when I went through a brief period in time when I refused to eat any kind of sweet/baked good, I made an exception to the rule for blueberry muffins. I somehow convinced myself that they weren’t “unhealthy”… mhmmmmmm, sure! I would pick up a jumbo sized muffin with the large crystal sugar topping from our local grocery store almost every visit. It was my favorite treat. To this day I still fawn over blueberry muffins when I make them fresh, but until now I have never been able to find a recipe to completely woo me. This one right here has changed that.
I took some notes from the last blueberry muffin recipe that I shared with you to create this recipe (Cooks Illustrated Best Blueberry Muffin). I am now convinced that the way to get true blueberry flavor into a muffin is to swirl in some blueberry jam. Preferably homemade. If you use store bought jam it just won’t have the same effect, it’ll be more sweet and have less blueberry flavor for sure. But then again, not everybody has time or money to simmer down a few cups of blueberries. But if you do, let me just assure you that it is well worth your effort. So, that is what took these muffins over the top- a nice swirl of concentrated blueberry flavor!
I also remembered back to this blueberry muffin recipe that I had made a few years ago, which I was very pleased with, and decided to try it out again. I knew that it created a moist muffin, and most importantly, used a crumb topping. I am a HUGE crumb topping kind of girl. I just love the crunchy, crumbly texture that it adds to muffins, coffee cakes, pies, etc. Even a simple streusel does it for me. But if I had to choose- crumb topping all the way.
So between the wonderfully moist crumb, the incredible blueberry flavor from the jam, and the perfect crunchy contrast from the crumb topping, these blueberry muffins are now my ultimate. My to-die-for blueberry muffin recipe, if you will. Truly impressive.
- For the Crumb Topping:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
- For the Muffins:
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup milk
- 1 pint blueberries
- Optional filling:
- Blueberry jam
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line muffin pans with paper liners.
- To make the crumb topping: Add the flour, baking powder and cinnamon to a medium bowl; stir with a fork to combine. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar to the pan, using a rubber spatula to combine with the butter. Pour the butter/brown sugar mixture over the flour mixture and use the fork to stir until all of the flour is moistened. Set aside while you make you muffin batter.
- To make the muffins: Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until pale in color, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. With the mixer on low speed, add ½ of the flour mixture then the milk and finally the remaining flour mixture, beating only until just combined.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl then add the blueberries, folding them into the batter. Divide the batter evenly among the wells of the muffin pans, filling each about ¾-full. With toothpick, swirl in about a teaspoon of jam, if using. Break the crumb topping into small pieces and scatter over the tops of the muffins. Bake for about 22 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the muffin pans to a wire rack and let the muffins cool for a few minutes before removing them from the pan to the rack to cool completely.
adapted from Nick Malgieri