Taking a vintage inspired recipe and baking it modern...
Recipe History: I’ve gone back to my roots and taken my great Aunt Ruth’s vintage recipe for Old-Fashioned Blueberry Muffins and baked them modern swapping out methods and ingredients. Aunt Ruth worked for a prominent family that owned a department store in West Virginia. This is where she mastered her baking skills and created several recipes that have been passed down within our family.
How to make Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins:
Use fresh or frozen berries: These muffins are delicious year-round, however, they taste even better with fresh hand-picked blueberries. After picking the berries, put them in them in an air-tight container and store in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. To freeze them, place berries on a 1/2 sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Do not wash them as their natural coating helps preserve them. Spread in a single layer and freeze for 1 hour. Place berries in ziploc bags or vacuum seal them for up to 8-10 months.
If you don’t have buttermilk on-hand, make your own: Adding buttermilk provides a tangy flavor and yields a tender baked good. If purchasing buttermilk, look for simple, natural ingredients like “cultured milk” on the label. Some brands are loaded with stabilizers, gums and starches.
Method #1: Place 1 T. vinegar or lemon juice into a liquid measuring cup and add cream or whole milk until it reaches the 1 c. measure line and let it sit for a few minutes.
Method #2: Place 1/2 c. sour cream and 1/2 c. whole milk or cream and let it sit for a few minutes.
Combine fats for flavor and texture: Combine butter to provide flavor, along with oil to yield a tender, moist baked good, using equal portions of each to make up the full amount of fat originally called for in the recipe. Choose an oil that is has a neutral, light flavor, such as canola oil or extra light virgin olive oil. Swap out old recipes that call for shortening, which has a lack of flavor and lends a waxy texture to baked goods.
Avoid mushy or fruit stained muffins: Before adding the berries to the batter, toss them in a bit of flour or cornstarch. Mix together all the ingredients and then fold in the berries by hand as the last step. This will ensure that the blueberries will be evenly incorporated and not sink to the bottom or turn your batter into blue mush.
How to prepare the muffin pan: Aluminum muffin pans are best since they conduct even heat. I prefer to use vintage muffin pans or NordicWare. You can spray the pan or use natural muffin liners. Even when using muffin liners, I always lightly spray the muffin pan before I put the muffin liners in to prevent the muffins from sticking in case they spill over. Fill your muffin liners at least 3/4 of the way full to ensure they will rise above the liner when baked and come out bakery style.
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Old Fashioned Blueberry Muffins
An old-fashioned recipe easy to bake up a batch of this classic recipe for breakfast or a holiday family brunch.
1 ¾ c. unbleached or Gluten Free Flour
½ c. butter (room temp)
2/3 c. buttermilk, sour cream, or milk
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
1 c. blueberries (tossed in a bit of flour)
1 T. lemon zest
2/3 c. sugar
Gather your equipment: - Mixing bowl - Liquid measuring cup - Measuring spoons - Measuring cups - Whisk - Spatula - Large Cookie Scoop - Muffin Pan and liners (optional) - Citrus Zester or Microplane
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray the top of the muffin pan and then add muffin liners.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray the muffin pan and put in muffin liners. Toss blueberries into a little bit of flour and set aside. Zest lemon and set aside. Place sour cream and buttermilk into a liquid measuring cup.
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Add in melted butter, oil, buttermilk mixture, egg, and lemon zest to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in blueberries. Scoop batter 3/4 full into muffin liners. Brush tops with heavy cream and sprinkle with course sanding sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
- Use oil, butter, or a combination of both. I recommend using canola oil or extra light virgin olive oil since they will provide neutral flavor to the muffin.
- Use buttermilk as it yields a light, tender crumb. If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can easily make it by placing 1 T. of vinegar into a liquid measuring cup and add milk up to make it 1 c.
- You can use fresh or frozen berries. Be sure to take out a bit of the baking mix, set aside and toss berries in before adding to the batter. This prevents berries from sinking to the bottom and also from turning your batter blue.
- Be sure to letter the batter rest. Hydrating gluten-free flour is an important step in gluten-free baking to help eliminate grittiness. You can make the batter ahead of time and place in the fridge and scoop batter when needed.