Beth Pendergrass of Florence asked for blueberry muffin recipes, any blueberry recipe for that matter. A friend gave her a ton of blueberries recently and she needs to do something with them.
There’s certainly no shortage of muffin recipes out there. For whatever reason, blueberry seems to be a especially popular one.
One of the challenges with blueberry muffins is how to prevent the bleeding of the juice into the batter and that “purple haze.” Here are a few tricks that can help:
Use fresh blueberries if possible.
Dust blueberries with a tablespoon or so of flour before adding to the batter, and wait until the last minute to fold the berries into the batter.
If using frozen berries, don’t thaw. Remove them from the freezer at the last minute before adding to the batter.
Berries that sink to the bottom also can be vexing. Some say that dusting the berries with flour also helps them stay distributed throughout the batter.
But here’s another way: Don’t stir the blueberries into the batter at all. Instead, portion out batter into the muffin cups, and then dot the tops with the berries.
Suzy Nelson of Yonge’s Island shares two recipes. The first is her own; the second one she cut out of this newspaper a number of years ago.
Makes 21/2 to 3 dozen muffins
31/2 cups sifted flour
41/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted margarine or butter
1/3 cup melted shortening
11/2 to 2 cups milk
2 cups blueberries
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the eggs and then add the melted butter and shortening. Whisk in 11/2 cups milk.
Make a depression in the flour mixture and add the egg, butter and milk mixture. Stir in gently. Add the blueberries and stir just until mixed.
Spray muffin tins with cooking oil spray or line the tins with paper baking cups. Fill with batter. Bake about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Lemon Yogurt Muffins With Blueberries
Makes 12 muffins
2 cups flour
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
1 (8-ounce) container nonfat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
11/2 cups fresh blueberries
Note: To help keep blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the muffin cups, put them in the freezer before you start preparing the muffins. Fold them into the batter directly from the freezer.
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Grease muffin pan or line with paper baking cups.
In large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients except the 1 tablespoon of sugar.
In medium bowl, using a fork or wire whisk, blend the egg whites, yogurt, oil, grated lemon peel and vanilla. Stir yogurt mixture into flour mixture just until lumpy. Gently fold in blueberries.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan. Sprinkle muffins with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan to wire rack to cool.
Linda Smith of St. George contributes a recipe that she uses and is in the interest of fewer calories. Any berries such as raspberries, blackberries can be substituted. Muffins also freeze well.
Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins
21/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
33/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
13/4 cups buttermilk
11/2 cups Splenda
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 cups fresh blueberries or 1 (12-ounce) bag frozen blueberries, thawed and drained
2 tablespoons coarse sugar, such as Sugar in the Raw
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Fill muffin tin with cupcake/muffin liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the baking powder, baking soda, salt and 33/4 cups flour.
Make a well in the center.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, buttermilk, Splenda, oil and lemon zest. Pour this mixture into the well of flour and stir to combine. (Lumps in the batter are fine; don’t overmix.)
In another bowl, toss the blueberries with the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour and evenly coat. Fold all but 1/2 cup of the blueberries into the batter.
Fill cupcake/muffin liners half way and top with the remaining blueberries.
Sprinkle coarse sugar over top.
Bake until muffins are brown and a wooden pick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
One muffin: 188 calories, 5g fat, 16mg cholerstol, 164mg sodium, 4g protein, 32g carbs and 1g fiber.
Mindy Hester of Charleston sends a family favorite. The recipe comes from the 1976 cookbook “Treasured Recipes,” put out by the Union United Methodist Church of Irmo. Jenny (Mrs. Lawrence) King gets the credit in the book.
2 cups Bisquick
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup dairy sour cream
1 cup fresh blueberries (or frozen, thawed and drained)
Sugar for topping (1/2 to 1 teaspoon per muffin)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare 12 muffin cups (liners or cooking spray).
In a medium bowl, combine Bisquick, 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon and mix well.
Make a well in center of mixture. Add sour cream all at once and egg; beat with fork until well-combined. Batter will be stiff and thick.
Gently fold blueberries into batter.
Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups; sprinkle each with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar.
Bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Loosen edge of muffins and turn out; serve hot.
Leftovers (if any!) freeze well.
“I have found this to be the best Blueberry Muffin recipe,” says Jo Kupstas. “I’ve used it and have passed it on for years.”
Note: You can make half the recipe to make 12 larger muffins.
Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins
Makes 24 muffins
2 cups sugar (you can safely omit 1/4 cup of sugar)
1 cup vegetable oil (or substitute 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce and 1/2 cup oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
2 cups (16 ounces) fresh blueberries
Beat eggs, gradually adding sugar. While beating, slowly pour in the oil and vanilla.
Combine flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add to egg mixture alternately with the sour cream. Gently fold in the blueberries.
Spoon batter into greased muffin tins. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.
For an alternative to a muffin, you might want to consider this dessert from the Blueberry Kitchen website that features recipes from the Culinary Institute of America.
2 packages (3 ounces each) lemon gelatin
2 cups fresh blueberries, divided
1½ cups plain low-fat yogurt
1 package (14-ounce loaf) fat-free “pound” cake
Blueberry Honey Sauce (recipe follows)
In a large bowl, combine lemon gelatin with 2 cups boiling water, stirring constantly until completely dissolved, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1½ cups of the blueberries and the yogurt until smooth.
Cut cake in 14 (½-inch) slices. Cut each slice into 3x1-inch rectangles. Arrange rectangles upright around edge of an 8-inch springform pan. Arrange remaining pieces to cover bottom of pan. Spoon in blueberry-yogurt filling. Scatter remaining ½ cup blueberries over top. Cover and chill until firm, about 2 hours.
Serve with Blueberry Honey Sauce, if desired.
Per portion: 257 calories, 6g protein, 1g fat, 55g carbohydrates.
Blueberry Honey Sauce
Yield: 1 cup
½ cup honey
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
In a small saucepan, combine honey and ginger. Bring to a boil. Stir in blueberries. Return to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice. Transfer mixture to a blender container and whirl until smooth. Serve over Blueberry-Lemon Charlotte (or spoon over cut-up fruits).
Per tablespoon: 38 calories, 0g protein, 0g fat, 10g carbohydrates.
Also thanks to Nancy Kruger of the Isle of Palms, Carol Dotterer of James Island and Louise Beckmann of Summerville.
Who’s got the recipe?
From a Folly Beach reader: What can be done with muscadine grapes?
Still relevant: A West Ashley reader would like to make a from-scratch peanut butter cake (chocolate may be included).
If there’s a recipe you’ve lost or a dish you are just wondering about, email food@postandcourier or call Food Editor Teresa Taylor at 937-4886.
Baking, centerpieces passions for Natalie Bluestein
There are so many jokes and pokes about in-law relationships, it’s refreshing to find one that buries the stereotype.EttaLeah Bluestein has nothing but praise for her daughter-in-law, who is married to her son, Scott: “Natalie Bluestein is a fabulous cook and expert baker with her favorite being a pound cake. She bakes a large variety of desserts and always serves a delicious dinner for family, friends and parties. She can whip up a dessert in a hurry. One of the most outstanding things she also does is have her dining table centerpiece always depicting the season, holiday or special event with the rest of the table setting coordinating with the theme.”EttaLeah suggested Natalie for this week’s featured home cook.Name: Natalie BluesteinAge: 46Residence: Sullivan’s IslandFamily: Husband, Scott; puppies Pippa and Paddington; cats Agatha and Annabelle; and lots of fish.Occupation: Family law attorneyQ: Most people who enjoy cooking and are good at it have a good cook in their past. Who was your inspiration, and why?A: My grandmother, Nat Powell, is one of the best cooks I know, and I learned much of what I know about cooking from her. Gran is a “country cook” and never measures anything, so I finally had her put “the right amount” of each ingredient in a bowl one year so I could measure it out and add the measurement for “the right amount” to our family recipes. Now everyone can use them, and they always turn out the same way!Q: Are you more of a cook or a baker? Which do you prefer, and why?A: I like to cook, but I love to bake. I love the way desserts look, and I think the better something looks, the better people think it tastes. It’s also easier in many ways than cooking. Exact measurements aren’t usually that important in cooking, but they definitely are in baking. If you follow the measurements, it’s possible to bake beautifully, even if you can’t cook!Q: How would you describe your overall style?A: Fairly simple but elegant, and the presentation is very important — I like to tie in a theme with the serving dish, color and garnishes.Q: You work full time and do volunteer work. How do you find the time for making meals?A: I try to plan ahead for the upcoming week, and I tend to make things on weekends, like sauces and casseroles. I usually will make more than I need, so they can be frozen for later use.Q: How often do you try a new recipe? What are some of your favorite sources?A: I try new recipes all the time. I read lots of cooking magazines and try at least a few new recipes every month, and, of course, I love trying the recipes readers send in to The Post and Courier.Q: Whose cooking do you admire, whether a local chef or “celebrity” chef, and why?A: I miss Rose Durden, the original chef at Carolina’s. Her food was fabulous, beautifully presented and very complicated, but she always made it look so easy! She was always wonderful about showing people how to make her dishes, too.Q: Let’s say you got a call informing you that the Obamas would be coming for dinner in an hour. What would you prepare?A: Barbecued brisket, garlic mashed potatoes, a huge salad with locally sourced vegetables and my friend, Ross Lipman’s, homemade croutons and chocolate pound cake for dessert (I might have to pull one out of the freezer).Q: We hear that you have outstanding centerpieces for your dining room table. Do you make them yourself? Why go to the trouble?A: I like to have centerpieces on the table all the time. I think they add to the overall ambiance of the meal, and every meal should be special. Plus, I think people have a better time when it’s clear you’ve thought enough of them to take a little extra time to be creative. I come up with the ideas myself, but I often buy odds and ends at import stores and craft stores, then go from there. For our Chinese New Year’s dinner, we had a dragon kite and Chinese coins all over the tabletop, with ceramic takeout containers filled with costume pearls and color-coordinated chopsticks. We also had fortune cookie key chains as party favors. It was a little over the top, but lots of fun.A favorite recipe:This was a huge hit with my husband and my father-in-law, Nicky Bluestein, both of whom love dessert!Lime-Coconut Pound CakeServes 12-16Ingredients1 cup butter5 eggsNonstick spray for preparing pan½ cup shortening2½ cups sugar3 cups all-purpose flour1 teaspoon baking powder½ cup cream of coconut¼ cup lime juice¼ cup water1 teaspoon vanilla1 cup flaked coconut, toasted1 batch Lime Icing (recipe follows)DirectionsAllow butter and eggs to reach room temperature (about ½ hour). Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 10-inch tube pan or Bundt pan with spray for baking.In a very large bowl, combine butter and shortening. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, beating on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low to medium speed for 1 minute after each addition, and scraping the sides of the bowl frequently.In a medium bowl, stir together flour and baking powder. In a small bowl, combine cream of coconut, lime juice, water and vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and cream of coconut mixture to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Fold in flaked coconut.Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake for 65-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.Drizzle Lime Icing over cake. Sprinkle with additional coconut, if desired.Lime IcingIn a small bowl combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, ½ teaspoon finely shredded lime peel, and ½ teaspoon coconut extract.Stir in enough additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make of drizzling consistency.Teresa Taylor