This is my take on my Aunt Ruth’s Old-Fashioned Blueberry Muffins. She was a housekeeper for a prominent family that owned a department store in West Virginia. This is where she mastered her cooking and baking skills and created several recipes that were passed down through our family.
You can make these muffins year-round, however they really are best with freshly picked blueberries. I’ve picked blueberries every July since since I was young, here in Northwest Indiana or in Southwest Michigan. To make berry baked goods year-round, freeze freshly picked blueberries by placing them on a 1/2 sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Do not wash the berries, their natural coating helps preserve them. Spread in a single layer and freeze for 1-2 hours. Place berries in ziploc bags or vacuum seal them 8-10 months.
Baker’s tips for Old-Fashioned Blueberry Muffins:
Properly prepare the muffin pan:
Aluminum muffin pans are best since they conduct even heat. I prefer to use vintage muffin pans or modern Nordic Ware. You can choose to spray the pan or use natural 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 the liners. Fill you 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.
Superfine sugar improves texture:
As you know there are several types of sugar to use in your baked goods. I always use natural cane sugar, however, in this muffin I prefer to use superfine sugar to make for a light, tender crumb.
Make your own buttermilk:
I modified the original recipe to use a mixture of buttermilk and sour cream. I always make my own buttermilk so that I know its all-natural without added chemicals. To make start with 1 T. vinegar in a liquid measuring cup and add cream or whole milk to reach the 1 c. measure and let sit for a few minutes. Combining both the buttermilk and sour cream also provide a bit more fat and flavor and tender crumb.
Flour the blueberries:
Be sure to toss your fresh or frozen (do not thaw) blueberries in 1 T. of flour or cornstarch before adding to batter and if you are using a mixer, do not add the blueberries into the mixer, fold in by hand. This ensures the blueberries will be easily incorporated and not turn your batter to blue or blueberries to mush.
Lemon highlights the berry flavor:
Add freshly grated lemon zest and a bit of lemon juice to brighten the batter and bring out the zing in the blueberries. As an alternative version, you can omit the lemon and just use vanilla extract and a dash of freshly grated nutmeg.
Old-Fashioned Blueberry Muffin
- 1 1/2 c. unbleached flour
- 2/3 c. sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/3 c. butter melted
- 2 T. oil
- 1/3 c. buttermilk, cream or milk
- 1/3 c. sour cream
- 1 egg
- 1 T. lemon zest
- 1 c. blueberries
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray the muffin pan and put in muffin liners.
- Whisk together dry ingredients in bowl.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients until just combined.
- Using a scoop, place batter 3/4 full into liners. Brush tops with cream and sprinkle with course sanding sugar.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn down oven to 375 degrees and bake for additional 13 minutes until toothpick in center comes out clean.