Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Blueberry-Cornmeal Muffins + Problem-Solving

I've found that it is so difficult to make good blueberry muffins -- ones that you actually want to eat -- at home. They fall apart right out of the muffin tin or get soggy. Once, my blueberry muffins even came out green, which may have been due to the blueberries' chemical reaction with baking soda. Nevertheless, I have had annoying experiences all around with this type of muffin, and it's a shame because the professionally baked ones aren't that appealing either: a bright white crumb in a muffin just lets me know that it's probably a really unhealthy, not-so-nutritious thing to eat for breakfast. So the cornmeal in these muffins acts as a binder.

Here are my hard-fought tips for muffins in general:
1. Use a bendable silicone muffin pan brushed with canola oil; set it on a baking sheet for sturdiness.
2. Use frozen fruit because it stays together better when you bake it. You may want to use less of it than any recipe calls for because if there's too much fruit, the batter has less to grab on to and won't come together.
3. Let the muffins cool before you pop them out, and you will have much better luck when it comes to keeping them pretty and in one piece.
4. A dry topping needs a thin slice of soy margarine on top before baking; this keeps the dry ingredients more in place.
Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins
(adapted from a recipe in the wonderful blueberry article in Whole Living this month)

3/4 cup wheat flour
3/4 cup AP flour
1/2 cup Delta Grind cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup cane sugar

1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup milk
1 egg and 1 duck egg, beaten
3/4 cup frozen blueberries

Topping, 3 spoonfuls each:
cornmeal
rolled oats
+ 2 tbsp. soy margarine

Preheat oven to 375. Mix all dry ingredients. Add in oil, milk, and eggs. Fold in blueberries. Next, brush a silicone muffin pan with canola oil and fill cups with batter almost to the top. Mix the three dry ingredients for the topping and sprinkle it all on top of the muffins. Add a sliver of soy margarine on top of each. Bake for 30 minutes. Remember, let these cool before you pop them out and eat them!

4 comments:

Natasha said...

These look delicious! I will have to try them sometime, but switching the milk for soy and the egg for something else. The pictures are kinda making me drool.. is that weird? ;)

Justin Fox Burks said...

We fully endorse drool. Thanks for the nice comment!

TCV

Stacey Greenberg said...

Yay more muffin secrets!

Anonymous said...

I just had exactly the bad experience making blueberry muffins that you describe! Despite good intentions, they emerged blindingly white, gummy, overly dense and sweet. Can't wait to try your recipe.