Blueberry Muffins

I love blueberries! I consider myself lucky to live right near the blueberry capital of the world, Hammonton N.J. The farmers markets are filled with an abundance of these deep blue delicious berries. It is the perfect time to bake my favorite blueberry muffins. I love to make these muffins not just because they are so delicious, but they remind me of my boy’s Justin and Daniel. I found this recipe in a little paperback book I had purchased when they were little school boys. It had all kinds of recipes for lunch and snacks. They ate this muffin like it was a yummy dessert. I would always put butter on it hot from the oven. The recipe gave two amounts for the sugar. I always got away with the lesser amount. My boys just loved the blueberries and the buttery taste. I always added a few extra berries to the recipe. This was a treat we always looked forward to.

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Blueberry Muffins

1¾ cup all-purpose flour

1/3 – 2/3 cup of sugar (infused with a vanilla bean)

2 teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

¼ cup melted butter

1 cup of fresh blueberries, frozen may be substituted

1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a small bowl lightly beat the eggs, combine the melted butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla. In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients. Spoon the wet mixture into the dry and mix with a wooden spoon just to incorporate the ingredients. You don’t want to over mix. Gently fold in the cup of blueberries. Line a cupcake pan with liners or grease each section with butter. Fill 2/3 full of batter. Bake 20 minutes. Makes 12 delicious muffins.

Baker’s notes: These muffins are best with the fresh blueberries. You may use oil instead of the melted butter. I prefer the melted butter. You could also add fresh lemon zest. I keep a container of sugar with a vanilla bean stuck in the center to infuse the sugar with vanilla. You may also use regular sugar.

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Blueberry Pie

I just love baking homemade pie. It is such a satisfying feeling. When I slip the pie into the oven I can barely wait for the sweet aroma to permeate the air throughout my home. My favorite summer pie is blueberry. I’ve been patiently waiting for that little container full of blueberries that say Hammonton, NJ I love that they are local. I wouldn’t dare bake my pie without these fresh berries, and I’d never bake this pie any other time of year. I’m day dreaming in the cold winter months of baking the pie. It’s the anticipation that makes it even sweeter on that first bite. I will be sharing this pie with my Mother-in-law Helen. She is turning 89 years young on the 23rd of June. I happen to know that she too loves blueberry pie.

Fresh blueberries
Fresh blueberries

 

Fresh blueberries, freshly squeezed lemon juice, Lemon zest, pure cane sugar, cornstarch, salt.
Fresh blueberries, freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest, pure cane sugar, cornstarch, salt.

 

Roll pie crust.
Roll pie crust.

 

Pour filling into prepared crust.
Pour filling into prepared crust. Slip little bits of unsalted butter into the blueberry mixture.

 

Brush on milk and sprinkle with sugar.
Brush on milk and sprinkle with sugar.

 

 

Let pie cool completely. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.
Let pie cool completely. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Blueberry Pie

4 heaping cups fresh blueberries

1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

¾ cup of pure cane sugar, or granulated sugar

4 tablespoons cornstarch

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Place washed berries in a large bowl. In a small bowl, stir sugar, lemon juice and zest, cornstarch, and salt. Combine the mixture with the blueberries stirring gently to coat. Pour the blueberry mixture into a prepared pastry crust. Tuck dots of cold butter into the berries. Top with your 2nd crust. Flute the edges of the pie. Cut a hole in the center for an air vent. Then cut slits in the top of the pie around the circle. Refrigerate the pie for 30 minutes. Please don’t skip this step; it gives you a flakier crust. Use whole milk with a pastry brush to wash the top of the crust. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake in a 375 degree oven until the crust is golden and the pie is bubbling in the center. About 50-60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely. I cool my pie for 3-4 hours before cutting into the pie. After cooling my pie I refrigerate it overnight. I love it ice cold. You can serve the pie room temperature as well.

Double crust pastry

2/3 cup solid shortening, very cold

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

6-8 tablespoons ice cold water

*For a sweet crust add 2 tablespoons superfine granulated sugar

In a medium bowl stir the flour and salt with a whisk. Add the shortening and cut in using a pastry blender till the mixture resembles tiny peas. Add the ice cold water 1 tablespoon at a time mixing with a fork until the dough starts to form a ball. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead just to form a disc. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

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