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 goods...it'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)
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
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