"I hate people who are not serious about their meals."

Oscar Wilde,
The Importance of Being Earnest

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Mum's Blueberry Muffins

My Mum makes great blueberry muffins. I remember visiting my parent's house one weekend and awaking to the smell of them baking. Is there anything better? I was out of bed and devouring one practically as soon as it was out of the oven. I first asked for her Blueberry muffin recipe about two months ago, and I haven't managed to have a go at making them until now, for several reasons. Firstly, the oven stopped working properly. Secondly, the weather has been so hot my desire to turn on the oven and do some baking was practically nil. Thirdly, I couldn't find any buttermilk at the supermarket. Crazy, right? Maybe I just wasn't looking in the right place - after more than 6 months in New York I am still getting used to the layout and size of the supermarkets. Some things just aren't where I would expect them to be if I were shopping in an Australian supermarket. So eventually the oven got repaired, and I decided to do some reading up on what I could use as a substitute for buttermilk. There are several different things you can do - yoghurt, etc, but the one I settled on involved adding lemon juice to milk.  This got me to thinking that lemon and blueberries make a wonderful combination, so I added some lemon zest to the recipe to give the muffins a little extra kick. They turned out wonderfully despite the lack of actual buttermilk, and they only have to bake for less than half an hour, so it wasn't so bad, even on a hot day. The house still smells of baking, and I've already eaten two of these beauties. Yum.

Blueberry Lemon Muffins
makes 6 large muffins or 12 small muffins

2 cups Self-Raising flour
3/4 cup demerara sugar
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk, put 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into your 3/4 cup measure and fill the rest up with milk, mix, and leave for a few minutes)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
finely grated zest of one lemon

Preheat oven to 200C/400F.  Grease or line your muffin pan.
Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Put the oil, buttermilk and egg into a shaker or small bowl and whisk/shake lightly to combine.  Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour the liquid ingredients into it, followed by the lemon zest and blueberries. Stir until just combined, taking care not to smash the blueberries.  Spoon into prepared muffin pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan. If you're feeling naughty, these are delicious served warm with a little butter. Enjoy!


mirka said...

Those look amazing!

I'm not sure why you can't find buttermilk at your supermarket, it should be with the regular milk. It's a staple for lots of baking and especially buttermilk pancakes.

I had to look up demerara sugar! I believe it's turbinado sugar here. :)

semolina pilchard said...

Thank you!
I know, I thought it should be there but I couldn't see it.. I will look again, maybe they were just out? The sugar I bought says demerara on the package, so perhaps it depends on the brand. You could also use muscovado sugar, which would give a slightly more molasses-y taste.

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