This morning I went on Martha Stewart’s home page and found an 8 minute video on how-to make toy sailboats. Why would toy sailboats even enter her mind? The boats were cute, but no simple task to make. Drilling, gluing, painting… 3 verbs that never enter my mind. Martha claims she always finds old-fashioned toy blocks at yard sales. Can you picture Martha driving around the suburban neighborhoods of Connecticut in her Land Rover on a Sunday morning, stopping at garage sales to pick through some stranger’s used stuff? I was grateful she had a trusty assistant in the video, who seemed to be the brain-child of the toy boats. Her name was Helen and she even used the word “hypotenuse” to explain how to properly cut the sail for a boat. Why wouldn’t she say “big side of the triangle?” That would have worked fine. I had to look up hypotenuse, a word I last used in the 8th grade. It was good to know that Martha doesn’t think up all this crafty stuff on her own. I wonder what she did with the sailboat she made in the video? She did mention they’re fun to play with in the bathtub.
I am grateful for Martha’s Baking Handbook. Baking is definitely not my thing, but truth be told, when I need a recipe to bake something specific in a pinch, Martha seems to be the one I keep turning to. After a quick drive to Solebury Orchards, I walked out with 2 quarts of just picked blueberries. Too lazy to pick my own in the summer heat, I paid a premium for the farm to do all the work. A quick rinse in the sink when I got home, I realized that 2 quarts of blueberries is a lot! Since yesterday I’ve already had cereal and blueberries, handfuls of blueberries, yogurt and blueberries, another handful of blueberries and still not a dent has been made in the bowl. Muffins were the perfect solution and these were quick and easy to make. I’m a purist when it comes to old-fashioned baked goods, which is why I selected this recipe. These muffins highlight the fresh-from-the-farm berries without any distractions.
SIMPLE BLUEBERRY MUFFINS (makes 12 muffins)
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
- 1 stick of room temperature unsalted butter (plus a little to rub on the muffin pan)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus a little to dust the pan)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs (I use extra-large)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk
- Some turbinado sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
To prepare the pan, rub the muffin cups and the top of the muffin tin with soft butter. Toss in a little flour and shake it around in the pan to coat, discard excess.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Toss the blueberries with 2 teaspoons of the flour mixture in a fine mesh strainer, shaking off the excess back into the flour mixture bowl. Set the bowl of blueberries and bowl of flour aside. In a stand mixer using the flat beater attachment, cream the sugar and butter together until fluffy. Add one egg at a time, mixing until combined. Add the vanilla extract and mix. Slowly add in the flour mixture, being careful not to overmix the batter. Finally, add the milk slowly and mix until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour dusted blueberries.
Fill the muffin cups evenly with the batter and give each muffin a hearty sprinkle with turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw). This will give the muffins that delicious crunch on the top after they bake.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden and a cake tester comes out clean. I baked these using the convection setting in my oven and they were done in 25 minutes.
Remove pan from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on a rack and then turn muffins on their sides in the pan to cool. Transfer the muffins from the pan to a rack and let cool completely.