Sunday, May 9, 2010

Orange Blueberry Muffins with Pecan Crumble

These muffins, selected by Chaya of My Sweet and Savory, sound perfect for a Mother's Day breakfast treat. I was cautious about making them as the Sweet Melissa Sundays P&Q had numerous comments from bakers who found them dense, dry, doughy and heavy, not good qualities for a muffin. I was making 1/4th of the recipe and I was determined that my muffins would be moist and light. Here's how I did it.

First of all, I decided that I would have to increase the moisture by the use of additional fat so that all of the flour would be adequately hydrated. To do this, I increased the butter and used all heavy cream (the recipe combines heavy cream and milk).

As blueberries are not in season yet, I used Trader Joe's frozen wild blueberries. They'd been in the freezer for several months and had a lot of ice crystals so I did something you're not supposed to do...I rinsed and dried my berries. I didn't want purple muffins and they were definitely going to be purple with all those ice crystals. I also used additional orange zest to boost the orange flavor.

The comments I read said that the pecan crumble really makes these muffins and I couldn't agree more. I doubled the amount of crumble for the number of muffins I made, and it made them even more delicious.

My muffins ended up moist and tender. The crumble gave them a great nutty flavor boost and terrific crunch. We enjoyed these a lot, and I'll definitely make them again because of the wonderful taste. And I'll be adding the pecan crumble to other muffins and baked's a keeper.

If you'd like the original recipe, you can find it here. Thanks, Chaya, for hosting us this week and choosing such a terrific recipe!

Orange Blueberry Muffins with Pecan Crumble (adapted from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book)

Printable recipe

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
11 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
Freshly grated zest from 1 orange
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Pecan Crumble
3/4 cups pecan pieces
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Position a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with muffin papers (or butter and flour the cups or spray with nonstick vegetable cooking spray).

Make the pecan crumble:
In a large bowl, stir together the pecans, flour, brown sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Stir in melted butter. If mixture seems dry, add a little more melted butter. Set aside.

Make the muffins:
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, and eggs until smooth. Stir in the heavy cream.

Add the orange zest to the flour mixture and gently rub the mixture together with your fingers. Add the blueberries and gently combine. Pour the butter mixture over the dry ingredients and gently mix with a spoon until just combined. If the mixture seems dry, add additional heavy cream until it's the appropriate consistency for a muffin.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup until full and top with pecan crumble. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Makes 12-14 muffins


Kayte said...

This looks like a perfect Mother's Day Breakfast to me...well, actually I made the Ellie recipe this week (Whole Wheat Apple Pancakes with Nutty Topping) and THAT was pretty much the perfect MD breakfast, too. Your muffins look wonderful, and thanks for the tips on those frozen blueberries!

Cristine said...

Your muffins look great! The crumble really made these muffins fantastic!

Julie said...

I like the additions to your muffins. I think extra orange zest would be a great addition.
Your muffins look great.

Sweet and Savory said...

It must have been a lot of work washing and drying frozen blueberries but you have no purple coloring so you succeeded. They look great.

I also love the topping and can imagine how much better, i t would be doubled. I am going to use that on a coffee cake as well.

Thanks for baking with me.

Candy Girl said...

Your muffins looks great! What a great idea to use only cream to boost the fat content.

Jacque said...

They look perfect... and no pesky purple streaks. Good job!

Tracey said...

Wow, nice job with the frozen blueberries Leslie! I have a bag in my freezer too, but whenever I try to use them in muffins I get blue batter... I'll have to try the wash and dry trick. Glad these were a hit for you! I made 1/4 of the recipe too :) It made for some interesting measurements this week! Also, I can't remember if you had joined the group already when we made the pear cranberry muffins with gingersnap crumble, but if not, that's a great crumble too! I ate so many of those muffins.

Tiff said...

Your muffins look great. I am with you on the crumble! It was quick and easy and I keep thinking of new things it would taste great with.

Nina said...

Looks great!

I love that technique. I'll keep it in mind if I ever use frozen blueberries!

Gabe's Girl said...

You are so baked good savvy! Way to go!

Derek said...

Your trick with washing the frozen blueberries is genius. Your muffins look great! Glad yours turned out moist and delicious! I'll have to remember your trick with the frozen blueberries for next time.

Tessa said...

The muffins look great! I love the washing the blueberries trick. Never would have thought of that myself!

Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie!

Fantastic job with your muffins- they look absolutely delicious, and I bet your modifications really helped the taste and texture. I'm glad to hear they worked with the frozen blueberries as well, and you succeeded in keeping them from bleeding into your batter!

Hope you're doing well, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!


Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

Your muffins look great!


Mimi said...

Anything with a crumble toipping is good for me, great looking muffins.

Mara... said...

Yours look great!!! Now I wish I had made the crumble, I will definitely be adding it to my next muffin batch!!

Anonymous said...

Great job of customizing the recipe based on the comments! I would have done the same thing with the berries - you can't always follow the rules for things like that.