RECIPE: Michigan Blueberry & Lemon Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping

This was adapted by a Williams Sonoma recipe and is a great way to use up the fresh blueberries from the farm stand. The other thing I have learned over the years about baking with blueberries is to couple it with lemon juice or lemon zest. Blueberries become quite bitter during baking, and lemon helps to lift and brighten their flavor. It is an important ingredient in my blueberry pie as well. In this recipe, lemon is just enough to brighten but not overpower the blueberries. You can make these easily for a Saturday morning. You don't even use a mixer-but a fork. My daughter and her cousins eat them up. Well, almost all. I use my big muffin tin and the muffins are a little big for them-but they try! I rinse out the blueberries and them let them lie flat on paper towels to dry completely. This helps the blueberries retain their shape while baking. I also have been told that tossing them with a little flour helps do that as well, but I just make sure they are very dry before going in the batter. That seems to work great.



Michigan Blueberry & Lemon Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping:

Topping:
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/3 cup pecan chips

Batter:
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon grated
zest of half a lemon
1 large egg, beaten
5 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed, destemmed and thoroughly dried

Preheat oven to 375˚. Spray large muffin tins with baking spray like PAM®. Set aside.


Now make the topping by mixing the sugar, flour and zest in a small bowl. Stir in the melted butter until mixture is crumbly. Add the pecan chips and stir to combine. Set aside.

For the muffins, stir in a large bowl the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, lemon zest with a fork. Make a hole in the middle of the mixture and pour in the beaten egg, melted butter and buttermilk. Stir only until everything is moist-do not over mix. Gently fold in the blueberries with a large spatula until just combined. Spoon the batter into each cup until 3/4 full. Top each with a generous handful of topping evenly over all cups. If you have batter left, reserve topping for a second batch. For the second batch, fill 1/2 of any empty cups in the tin with water to prevent warping. Bake until golden and springy to the touch, 30-35 minutes for large tins. Transfer to wire rack to cool, then after ten minutes pop them out. I get 8 big muffins with my large muffin tin.

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