Blueberry Muffins

When you’re used to plain yogurt and dried apricots for breakfast every day, the rare, occasional blueberry muffin becomes a luxurious treat. It’s not as if I can’t buy a fresh blueberry muffin at any bakery or coffee shop, any time. Or even make my own. They only take a few minutes to make and a few minutes to bake.

But I think of blueberry muffins as dreadfully fattening, especially the post-modern 21st century variety that looks three times bigger than I remember blueberry muffins from my youth.

When I first started working I was young and slim and everyone in the office brought in breakfast, so I did too. My choice was a yogurt (a rarity then) plus a blueberry muffin. Within 6 months I had gained 10 pounds.

I always attributed the gain to the blueberry muffins, so I stopped buying them.

I have to say, when you don’t eat something that you consider delicious for a long time, you really appreciate it when you do eat it.

I am going to make some blueberry muffins sometime between now and New Year’s Day when my cousins are at my house for a long-weekend sleepover. We’ll get a little bored with the smoked fish we usually eat, even the luxurious version I’ll serve on New Year’s Day (with smoked salmon on top of potato pancake; see the recipe Friday at www.ronniefein.com). So blueberry muffins it will be. A simple breakfast goodie. A couple of scrambled eggs and hot coffee and we’ll be satisfied.

By the way, if you don’t have buttermilk you can use plain kefir or yogurt or make this: 1 tablespoons lemon juice plus enough milk to equal one cup; let stand for 5 minutes. 

Blueberry Muffins

4 tablespoons butter

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

1 large egg

1 tablespoon grated fresh orange peel

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a muffin tin. Melt the butter and set it aside. In a bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a second bowl, mix the buttermilk, egg, orange peel and vanilla extract. Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture and stir only to blend ingredients (do not mix vigorously). Fold in the berries. Drop the batter in equal amounts into the prepared muffin tin cups (the number will depend on the size of the muffins) to about 2/3 filled. Bake for 22-26 minutes, depending on size, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Makes 9-12