I don't think there are a lot of wild berries in Germany. If somebody knows otherwise and can point me in the right direction, please tell me! But until then, I've resorted to going to the you-pick-it farms on the outskirts of the city. These places are not a perfect substitute for the wild berry patches of Alaska, but they'll do in the absence of anything else. And the blueberries I got last week were about a hundred times better than the supermarket berries available here- they were so sweet with barely a hint of tartness, and plump and firm; perfect for baking or freezing for later use.
My first order of business was to make blueberry muffins, because they are just so classic (and you know how I love to default to the classics!) How can you not make blueberry muffins during late summer blueberry season? It kind of just is.
I like my blueberry muffins light, and just barely sweet, with a hint of lemony tartness. None of the cloying heaviness of supermarket or coffee chain shop muffins. Like all muffins, these ones are best eaten on the day of, or maybe the next day, which is why I have sized the recipe for a dozen muffins. My guess is you can get through those relatively quickly.
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
The lemon extract in these muffins is entirely optional, but I think it adds something tasty. You could probably also just majorly dial up the lemon zest and add a generous squeeze of lemon juice. One of the most important elements of these muffins is the sugar crust on the tops - don't skimp on it! You want them to bake to a crunchy top that perfectly sets off the fluffy consistency of the muffins. The sugar crunch only lasts the first day though- that's why they're best fresh out of the oven!
5 tablespoons (70 g) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (100 g) white sugar
3/4 cup (180 g) plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1 1/2 cups (190 g) white flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (130 g) blueberries, fresh or frozen
cane sugar (brauner Zucker)
1. Preheat the oven to 375F/180C.
2. Line muffin pan with wrappers.
3. Cream together the butter and white sugar until fluffy.
4. Beat in the egg, plain yogurt, lemon zest, and lemon extract.
5. Mix the white flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the wet ingredients in two or three batches.
6. Carefully fold in the blueberries (show special care if they're fresh so that they don't burst and bleed all over the batter).
7. Scoop the batter into the muffin cups - they should be about 3/4 full.
8. Liberally sprinkle the tops of the muffins with cane sugar (brauner Zucker) - like a teaspoonful per muffin.
9. Bake for approximately 25 minutes until tops are golden and crispy.