Sunday, April 5, 2009

Blueberry Muffins

A lazy Sunday morning. I have a pile of papers to grade and it's supposed to snow. Sounds like a job for Blueberry Muffins. Since blueberry muffins are an American staple, I knew The Culinary Arts Institute would be able to help me out. I found a great recipe on page 37 of 250 Breads, Biscuits and Roll (1953), though the title page reads The Breads, Biscuits and Rolls Cookbook.

The recipe was simple:

2 cups sifted, enriched flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup melted shortening
1 cup milk

Sift dry ingredients together. Mix egg, shortening and milk together thoroughly. Combine mixtures, stirring just enough to dampen flour. Fill greased muffin pans 2/3 full. Bake in hot oven (400 F.) 25 minutes. Makes 12 to 15.

Under "Variations" it has you mix blueberries with the dry ingredients. I also assumed that they meant for me to use fresh blueberries, but all I had was frozen. When I used to work at The Sisters it was my job to make the blueberry muffins. We also used frozen. The deal with frozen berries is that you can't just toss them into the dry ingredients, you have to lovingly place them in layers. It doesn't take long and it makes the muffins much more lovely. Besides, layering keeps the blueberries evenly distributed.

Milk is a problem that plagues our household. We don't ever have milk on hand. Sometimes half and half, today just soy creamer. But The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, revised edition (2006) suggests keeping dry buttermilk on hand. We bought a tub of it just for emergencies like this.

The recipe turned out fantastic. Serena said they tasted "old fashioned," meaning they weren't very sweet. They are quite good and I will certainly use this recipe again.

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