These muffins are as good as any sold in a fancy gourmet bakery. They’re moist, not too sweet, with a light and airy texture and a fresh lemony flavor. Now with that said, I did have one issue with the recipe. The directions say to overfill the muffin cups to get 12 big, bakery-style muffin tops. I overfilled the 12 muffins cups just like the recipe instructed (with some batter to spare) but the batter overflowed the pan and made a lovely mess in my oven. I don’t know if the overflow was a freak of nature or if the instructions just need some tweaking. I’ll definitely make the muffins again but maybe next time I’ll try dividing the batter between 15 muffin cups instead of just 12.
The only addition I made to the recipe was to add a 1/2 teaspoon vanilla to the batter. The muffins were delicious and my kids devoured them. I thought they were best the day they were made but they tasted good the next day, too. As an added bonus, the recipe includes variations for making Cranberry-Orange or Banana-Walnut muffins from the same batter.
-recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine
This muffin batter is also delicious with the flavoring variations that follow the recipe. Be sure to add the fruit before the batter is fully mixed to avoid overmixing. Overfilling the muffin cups gives you those great big bakery-style muffin tops. Yields 12 muffins.
Vegetable oil or cooking spray for the pan
1 lb. (3-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. table salt
1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
5 oz. (10 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1-1/2 cups fresh (washed, dried, and picked over) or frozen (no need to thaw) blueberries
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil (or spray with cooking spray) the top of a standard 12-cup muffin tin and then line with paper or foil baking cups. (Spraying the pan keeps the muffin tops from sticking to the pan’s surface.)
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, butter, milk, crème fraîche or sour cream, eggs, egg yolk, and zest until well combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold gently with a rubber spatula just until the dry ingredients are mostly moistened; the batter will be lumpy, and there should still be quite a few streaks of dry flour. Sprinkle the blueberries on the batter and fold them in until just combined. (The batter will still be lumpy; don’t try to smooth it out or you’ll overmix.)
If you have an ice cream scoop with a “sweeper” in it, use it to fill the muffin cups. Otherwise, use two spoons to spoon the batter in, distributing all of the batter evenly. The batter should mound higher than the rim of the cups by about 3/4 inch.
Bake until the muffins are golden brown and spring back lightly when you press the middle, 30 to 35 minutes. (The muffin tops will probably meld together.) Let the muffin tin cool on a rack for 15 to 20 minutes. Use a table knife to separate the tops, and then invert the pan and pop out the muffins.
Cranberry-Orange Muffins: In place of the lemon zest and blueberries in the batter, add orange zest and chopped fresh cranberries.
Banana-Walnut Muffins: Don’t add any zest to the batter. Instead add 1-1/2 cups thinly sliced ripe banana and 3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts.