Blueberry muffins

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I love blueberry muffins. My mom makes amazing blueberry muffins, and hers are the standard to which every other muffin falls short. She uses the recipe of her good friend.

I grew up within a short drive of the Wild Blueberry Capital of Canada, and blueberries are the official fruit of my home province. Represent, bitches.

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There is a large blueberry field behind my dad’s cottage, so I have eaten a lot of blueberries in my life. In fact blueberries are such a big deal where I grew up, we have town festivals to celebrate them. Imagine. Everybody turns out just to pimp one particular fruit. When I was little, we’d dress in blue shirts and stand on marked spots to form a big human blueberry and they’d take aerial photos.

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Time required: 1 hr

Yields: 14

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $28

Cost per muffin: $2

Kitchen implements I used:

  • muffin tin + large muffin liners

Ingredients:

  • 2 C flour
  • ½ C granulated white sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 C milk
  • ⅓ C vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C blueberries

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat open to 400°F / 204°C and put muffin liners in tray.

2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

3. Measure out the milk and oil into a liquid measuring cup.

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4. Beat egg until it’s foamy, then add to liquid.

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5. Add wet to dry, stirring until just combined. The batter will have a slight pull to it.

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6. Fold in the blueberries. Hopefully you have Canadian berries, but if not I guess you’ll have to make do with your inferior fruit. Frozen berries bleed colour but who cares because the bluer the merrier.

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7. Spoon batter into prepared tray.

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Leave some room for expansion.

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8. Bake 18-20 minutes and move to wire rack.

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9. After cooling, store in a sealed container. Take one with your tea and call me in the morning.

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Verdict: Delicious!  The texture improved over night.

I did try one last night after they were freshly made, and found it a bit disappointing. The bottom of the muffin stuck to the liner.  I called Mom, who suggested bake them for 15 minutes, leave them in tray for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire rack.

But when I had one this morning, it was bang on and the liner peeled off without sticking. So I think I’ll reduce baking time by 2 minutes next time and see how it goes.

Playlist: Final Fantasy VI – Another World of Beasts

Plum-side down cakes

Nothing is sweeter than a ripe plum. Alas, winter plums are not very juicy, but I have just discovered a recipe which uses under-ripe plums, and it is quite delectable.

Dad always buys plums, and when I visit we go for a drive, eat plums, and talk. Eating a plum while you are driving is harder than you might think, and the passenger is in charge of  the Napkin Brigade, in order for both occupants of the car to enjoy a peaceful, plum-filled scenic trip

This recipe comes from KitchenAid 3 cookbooks in 1: pies & tarts, cakes & cupcakes; breads, which is available on Amazon.com if you’re inclined to check it out.

Time required: 1 hour

Yields: 8 cakes

Cost per portion: $4.37

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $35.00

Special kitchen implements I used:

  • Nemo the KitchenAid
  • muffin tin
  • baking pan

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 3 TBSP brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2-3 plums, underripe
  • ½ C granulated white sugar
  • 2 TBSP white shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C flour
  • 1 TSP baking powder
  • ¼ TSP salt
  • ⅓ C milk

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 176.6°C / 350°F.  Set muffin tin on top of a large baking tray (to catch runoff) and grease 8 of the cups.

2. Wash the plums, and slice into narrow pieces.  The recipe said to use 3, but I only had room for one and a half.

3. Melt butter in the microwave and stir in brown sugar.

Spoon into muffin cups, and layer plum slices on top of butter. I placed 2 slices in each cup.

4. Beat white sugar and shortening in mixer until fluffy.

5. Combine in a bowl: flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir into shortening mixture.

6. Add milk and beat on medium until smooth.

7. Spoon into muffin cups, and shake to settle. (The book said to fill the cups about two thirds of the way, but my muffin pan is shallow so I just tried to divide the batter evenly and this is what I got. Hope this works out!)

8. Bake for 20 min, until a toothpick inserted comes out cleanly.

See how the brown sugar mixture bubbled up? That’s why we put a tray under the pan.

9. Let cool in pan on wire rack for 10 min, then run knife around edges to loosen the cakes. Invert onto the rack and…

…is this normal??  Use tongs to pick up the fruit pieces and drop them on top of the cakes.

10. Cool another 5 minutes before eating:

Verdict: Plum cake is delicious. Now I see why it says to use 3 plums,you are not trying to evenly line the bottom, just put several slices in each cup. I know for next time.  I think you have enough batter to make more than 8, they would just be thinner. These were great.

Playlist: Florence + the Machine