Wild Blueberry Buttermilk Crunch Muffins and a Pie Contest

Who starts baking at 11:30 on a Saturday night? This girl. I had spent the entire day staring at literally hundreds of pies as part of a huge city-wide pie contest held at my work, each pie—huckleberry, raspberry chocolate cream, pecan—working my sweet tooth into a frenzy. You would think that after moving dozens of pies, the last thing I would want to do on a Saturday night would be to fire up the oven. After getting home late I took a quick look around my kitchen and saw some buttermilk that needed to be used up, along with some blueberries. Although it wasn’t exactly the perfect pie combo (or is it?), it could, however, easily be whipped up into some quick and satisfying blueberry muffins. Perfect for a Sunday morning, which was only a couple short bleary-eyed hours away.

These are proper muffins, loaded with butter and sugar, and they’re not shy about it. Often I try to overhaul my baked goods and desserts to be healthier, i.e. less guilt-inducing, but not with these. These scream pastry! Butter! Sugar! In other words, they are simply delicious muffins that act the part of the quintessential breakfast item. The great news, beside their obvious deliciousness, is that they come together really quickly–which is great news when you’re baking in the middle of the night. The buttermilk provides great tang and the addition of lemon zest is essential. While it doesn’t make the muffins lemony, it does, however make the blueberries, the star of the show, shine even brighter. Feel free to leave off the crunchy, crumbly topping. But, why would you?

Wild Blueberry Buttermilk Crunch Muffins
Yields: 16-18 large muffins
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unrefined/raw sugar
  • 4 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups low-fat buttermilk, shaken
  • ¼ pound (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (I used wild blueberries, which are smaller)

For the Crunchy Crumb Topping

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed (or raw/unrefined sugar)
  • 1 generous tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold butter, diced

 Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper liners.

Sift the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and gently whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, butter, lemon zest, and eggs. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the dry mixture with a fork, mixing until just blended. Fold the blueberries into the batter. Take care to not over mix. Using a heaping tablespoon, or standard ice-cream scoop, ladle the batter into the prepared paper liners, filling them almost full.

For the topping, mix all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until the butter is in very small pieces and everything resembles sandy rubble. If the food processor doesn’t incorporate the butter well enough, you can pour into a bowl and rub with your fingers until crumbly. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the crumb topping over each muffin.

Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

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