Oh, muffins. Where do I start?
You give us so many tantalising flavours
You can be savoury or sweet
You’re pretty much just an excuse to eat cake for breakfast
Before we get confused, this isn’t an ode to muffins. I just felt it was necessary to confess my love for thee… I mean them.
As much as I love eating them, I also love baking them. If you feel like something lemony - make a muffin, if you fancy something with blueberries - make a muffin, if you have a craving for bacon - make a muffin. If you want something with lemon, blueberries and bacon, it’d probably taste alright… in a muffin.
Guessed the theme yet?
Yes, muffins are just so versatile. Oh, and I love them.
In the past couple of weeks I’ve made a batch of both lemon curd muffins and apple and blueberry crumble muffins.
All you need is a good base recipe. Now, the perfect muffin recipe is something that I shall seek forever, but this one is pretty good for now. It’s a combination of a few I’ve tried in the past, and what I like most about this recipe is the use of buttermilk - it’s an acidic ingredient like yogurt or sour cream (just think how nice a lemon and sour cream cake is) and it works by reacting with baking soda to create tiny little bubbles to give baked goods a soft, moist texture. For those of you who don’t know, buttermilk is what gives the very popular Red Velvet Cake its trademark “velvety” texture. And FYI, buttermilk, despite its name, pretty much contains zero fat (bonus!). Using buttermilk also results in nice crusty tops, as you can see in the photos of my lemon curd muffins, making it perfect to use in baking scones, and other breads.
So here’s the recipe for both Lemon Curd and Apple and Blueberry Muffins, and for any other flavours that you care to create.
If I improve on the recipe in my quest for muffin perfection, I promise, you’ll be the first to know.
(Makes about 8 muffins. Double the mixture if you’d like a larger batch)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line muffin cups with paper cases.
Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder.
Add egg, buttermilk and oil to the dry mixture. Mix to combine.
Add your desired flavourings (ie. blueberry and apple).
Fill muffin cups right to the top of the cases.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until done.
For the Lemon Curd variation:
Good quality lemon curd
Add the juice of 1 lemon to the muffin mixture when combining the dry and wet ingredients.
Fill muffin cups halfway and then dollop 1 teaspoon of good quality lemon curb in the middle of the uncooked mixture. Top with more uncooked muffin mixture until the cups are full.
For the Apple and Blueberry Crumble variation:
1 cup of fresh blueberries
1 apple (I used a Gala apple), peeled and diced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Add the blueberries and apple to the muffin base mixture.
Make the crumble topping by mixing together the brown sugar, flour, butter and cinnamon.
Sprinkle this on top of the muffins before baking.