Jun 9, 2010

Blueberry Muffin & The City

My first blueberry muffin was a love at first sight. Long before the Carrie Bradshaw’s cupcake trend I had the “muffin mania”, and made dozens of muffins in every chance I could. I have tasted my first blueberry muffin when I was twelve years old and visiting the “Big Apple” with my Dad on my big Bat Mitzvah trip around America. I bet every memory is somehow selective, and I’m sure that this muffin would not taste today as it did back then..., but something in that moment was very special, as I was just discovering New York City for the first time, and just like the blueberry muffin, I fell in love. Today, after many long and short visits, a lot of Woody Allen’s movies, some academic essay writings and countless storytelling from my big brother, who lived to tell the tale of his stay there, I can surely say it was more than a fling.

I think I love New York City so much because it’s somehow unreachable, always a bit foreign , but yet so familiar and makes you feel right at home. Just the city’s spatial proportions makes me feel alive more than any other place I know. Maybe the glorification I make for it would have vanished some if I was to stay there for a long period of time, and then the magic would turn into routine and claustrophobia.

In a weird way it’s the same with blueberries. Eating that muffin in a small diner for breakfast was my first encounter with those amazing berries. Coming back home when I was twelve, there weren’t any fresh blueberries to find, and even today they are very hard to come by, and are quite expensive. Our Israeli climate makes it hard to grow them and they can mostly be grown upnorth. Every month of May I wait for the small, overpriced, half filled plastic boxes so I can make my muffins with fresh berries. Frozen ones are always a good option, but it’s not the same.

Even though I really wished we could have bushes of blueberries in our backyards, and make whole tarts, pies, jams of it without feeling financially guilty, I know it would have taken some of the magic away...

I’ve tried countless flavors of muffins, but the classic one with blueberries wins them all. This is my all times muffin recipe, which I always twist and change to make better. I love the combination with orange zest, and try not to make them too sweet so they can be great for breakfast too. Always eat fresh! If necessary, freeze well covered, and reheat in the oven.

Blueberry Muffins

for 12 small ones or 6 big ones

300 gr. (2 cups) white flour
10 gr. (2 tsp) baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
140 gr. (1/2 a cup+2 Tbs) organic cane sugar
zest of 1 orange
1 medium organic egg
130 ml. (1/2 a cup) sour cream
155 ml. (1/2 a cup+2 Tbs) buttermilk
100 gr. butter, melted
1 cup fresh blueberries

12 or 6 muffin paper cups / muffin tin

Heat the oven to 180℃ and arrange muffin paper cups on a tray, or grease a muffin tin.

In a large bowl mix together the white flour, baking powder, baking soda and cane sugar.

Add the orange zest and mix well.

Make a hole in the flour mix, and pour in the egg, sour cream and buttermilk. Start mixing with a tablespoon and then add the melted butter, and mix until the batter is smooth (do not over mix).

Add the blueberries and gently fold them into the batter with a small rubber spatula.

Divide the batter between the paper cups (fill 3/4 of the cups) and bake for about 30 minutes.

Cool the muffins for 5 minutes on a tray, and serve immediately!

Fresh muffins are good for one day, so if you have leftovers, freeze them in a sealed box, and reheat in the oven. Enjoy!

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