Based on the feedback from family, neighbors and assorted friends, these really do deserve the ‘best blueberry muffins’ moniker. The top of the muffins are dusted with lemon zest and turbinado sugar (also known as ‘raw’ sugar. But you can also use granulated sugar) and the insides are moist, loaded with blueberries and absolutely delicious!
This recipe is adapted from one published by Cook’s Illustrated magazine. I simplified their recipe to make it easier to make yet, in my opinion, just as tasty. (The magazine goes through an added step of cooking down a portion of berries to make a sort of ‘preserve’ that you then spoon over the batter of each muffin. It did not make for a quick recipe and, in my opinion, I thought it did little to improve upon the taste).
This delicious recipe is whisked by hand in a matter of minutes. You can use either frozen or fresh blueberries. If using frozen, add them frozen to the flour mixture (if thawed you’ll end up having blueberry juice mixing with the batter which makes for a rather unappetizing ‘blue’ to the batter). And the baked muffins freeze beautifully!
Best Blueberry Muffins (adapted from Cooks Illustrated magazine, May 2009)
Makes 12 muffins
- 1/3 cup turbinado or granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (1 lemon)
- 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 1/8 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. table salt
- 2 large eggs
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (1/2 stick)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the lemon-sugar muffin topping:
- Stir together 1/3 cup sugar and lemon zest in small bowl until combined; set aside.
For the muffins:
- Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or line with (cupcake) liners if using.
- Whisk flour, baking power, and salt together in large bowl.
- Whisk remaining sugar and eggs together in a medium bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla until combined.
- Add blueberries to flour mixture and gently mix to coat blueberries with the mixture. Then, using rubber spatula, fold egg mixture into blueberries and flour mixture until just moistened. (Batter will be very lumpy with a few spots of dry flour; do not overmix).
- Spoon batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over muffins.
- Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 – 20 minutes, rotating muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool another 10 minutes before serving.