In my first post, I share my make-it-simple cooking philosophy and emphasize that enjoying great food doesn’t have to be a laborious process.
So here I am, pondering that thought again as I face the summertime desire to fully enjoy bountiful produce and outdoor cooking. But the loss of daily structure seems to hasten the arrival of dinner and the realization that it hasn’t yet crossed my mind.
So to force myself to get into a better seasonal groove and to jumpstart a pause in posting, I thought this would be a good time to put the philosophy into practice. In anticipation of July 4th, I am pulling together a few straightforward, summer recipes for brunch, snacking and dinner to leave you with cooking ideas for the upcoming holiday and beyond.
I’ll shoot for posting almost every day. Maybe every other.
First, blueberry muffins. These are great for brunch or the parade.
(I’ll be posting two excellent make-ahead egg dishes, Sausage and Veggie and Tomato Basil Strata, if you have a brunch planned.)
This recipe is inspired by one from Cooks Illustrated, not to be confused with the complicated recipe I refer to in the above referenced post. I add a pecan topping but these are good without one too.
The topping is prepared first.
It goes on the batter in a moist, clumpy form but becomes crunchy when baked.
Adding the berries to the flour mixture helps to keep them somewhat in tact, and if using frozen, creates less liquid.
Keep in mind that you can store these muffins in an airtight container for at least two days or freeze individually wrapped. Defrost at room temperature or use the microwave.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup demerara sugar (also called turbinado), or brown sugar
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Melt butter in a glass Pyrex measuring cup in a microwave. (Alternatively, melt on stove top.) Add remaining 4 ingredients and mix with a fork. Set aside.
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, or 1 cup white and 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 1/4 cups sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- Adjust rack to middle position of the oven and heat to 350 degrees.
- Spray one standard muffin tin with nonstick vegetable cooking spray, or use butter.
- Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl until combined.
- Whisk egg in a medium bowl until well combined and light-colored, about 20 seconds.
- Add sugar and whisk vigorously until thick and homogenous, about 30 seconds.
- Add melted butter in 2 or 3 steps, whisking to combine after each addition.
- Add sour cream in 2 steps, whisking just until combined.
- Add berries to dry ingredients and gently toss to combine.
- Add sour cream mixture and fold with rubber spatula until batter comes together and berries are evenly distributed, 25 to 30 seconds (small spots of flour may remain and batter will be thick). Do not overmix.
- Use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to drop batter into greased muffin tin.
- Spread topping evenly over muffins.
- Bake until light golden brown and a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center of muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating pan from front to back halfway through baking time.
- When cool enough to handle (about 5 minutes) gently remove muffins from pan and cool on a wire rack.
Yield: 12 muffins
Annual Vermont Visit, Land of the Blueberry Motherload