Blueberry anything is simply fantastic. Blueberry pancakes, or even blueberry crepes that I’ve had once or twice - blueberries going into the filling not the batter. Blueberry smoothie. Blueberry sauce to go with VERY RARE fillet of beef, you see it’s not only sweets that blueberries rule. I guess I might have a blueberry curry - I hate curry - and enjoy it (I wouldn’t).
They are of course a superfood these days, only because they are purple. But those cultivated fruits are not a patch on the wild ones that grow in some parts of Europe, known as blåbær in Norway, myrtilles in France and bilberries in Lancashire (or so a Lancastrian friend of mine maintains). The wild ones will stain your tongue deathly purple. They are half the size of blueberries, half as sweet but three times as flavoursome. Impossible to transport as they get squashed when looked at. Gorgeous.
But having to contend with the cultivated ones, I’m still not moaning because any cake mix with added blueberries will be a winner. My easiest and best recipe for muffins is a proof - I don’t generally rate muffins highly at all but these will do very well…
By all means use frozen berries in the bleak mid-winter. Better that than paying extortionate price of bluebs imported from Darkest Peru. And frozen ones are very well-behaved: they stir nicely into the mix, don’t go mushy like raspberries and retain their shapes.
- 300g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 80g soft light brown sugar
- 210g buttermilk
- 110g sunflower or rapeseed oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract, rosewater or violet essence
- 1 large egg
- 200g blueberries, fresh or frozen
- pearl sugar to sprinkle on top
Prepare a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases or by buttering the holes. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas 5.
Mix the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl. Add the sugar and mix it in, breaking up any lumps with a spatula or a fork. Add the blueberries to the mix and stir to coat them with flour.
In another bowl or a jug beat together the buttermilk, oil, egg and flavouring. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ones and quickly fold until only just combined and there’s no dry flour at the bottom of the bowl.
Spoon the mix into the paper case or the tin, making sure the blueberry distribution is even. Sprinkle a little pearl sugar on top of each muffin.
Bake for 25 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. If using frozen fruit, add 5 minutes to the baking time. Cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.