BNA: What? The appeal of culottes?
D: That too. But I speak of your blueberry obsession.
B: What of it?
D: You never used to be such a blueberry freak.
B: This is true.
D: In fact...
B: Blueberries were your gig.
B: Strawberries were my fruit.
D: Blue is mine!
B: I did favor red.
D: In. All. Things.
B: Hey, that Christmas tree story is exaggerated.
D: You mean how the entire tree had a skirt of red ornaments illustrating how high you could reach?
B: It was an artistic choice!
D: I'm not giving in on this swap over to blue, just so you're clear.
B: Not even for a blueberry lemon (almond) muffin?
D: ...did you just pronounce a parenthetical?
B: Or a slice of Karina's blueberry bread?
D: This isn't over, youngling.
Blueberry Lemon (Almond) Muffins
Adapted from Cooking Light
1 1/2 c. all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 c. fine polenta
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
three shakes Penzeys Baking Spice
1 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen (unthawed)
1 c. lf buttermilk
1 T. grated lemon zest
1 egg, preferably organic and free-range, lightly beaten
3 T. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 tsp. almond extract
vanilla sugar, optional
Heat the oven to 400 and spray a muffin tin with baking spray.
Mix the dry ingredients through the baking spice together. Add the blueberries and mix gently.
In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients through the extract. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet stuff. Mix just to combine; overmixing makes unhappy muffins.
Scoop the surprisingly fluffy batter into the prepared muffin tins and sprinkle the tops with vanilla sugar. Bake 20 minutes or until nicely golden brown. Remove from the pan immediately and cool on a wire rack.
* I like to add the Baking Spice to give the muffins a hint of warmth in the background. You can substitute cinnamon if you don't have the Baking Spice.
* The almond will be in the background as well -- thus the parenthetical in the name.
* The polenta gives the muffins a bit of crunch and a sturdier structure.
Karina's Blueberry Bread
Adapted from Cooking By Moonlight
2 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 tsp. Penzeys Cake Spice
2 eggs, preferably organic and free-range, lightly beaten
1/2 c. melted butter
1 1/2 tsp. real vanilla extract
1/2 c. nf milk
1 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen (unthawed), tossed in a sprinkle of flour
Heat the oven t0 350 and spray a 9-inch loaf pan with baking spray.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add the sugars and the Cake Spice. Make a well.
In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients, then pour into the well and mix gently to just combine. Add the berries and stir them in gently. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake 50 minutes to an hour or until a knife comes out clean. (I like to rotate quick breads like this 180 degrees in the oven at the halfway mark to ensure even browning.) After cooling the bread in the pan for about fifteen minutes, remove it to cool completely on a wire rack.
* Karina specifies fine sea salt, which I didn't have. I used kosher salt and the measurement seemed to work well.
* Tossing the berries with a little flour will help prevent them from bleeding into the batter.
* This is a very sweet bread, almost a cake -- absolutely delicious. It lasted approximately 2 days in our apartment. Thanks Karina!!