Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

I'm a little ashamed to admit that in our 2 person household a decent amount of food goes to waste.  My ambitions with food are bigger than reality.  I'm trying to make an effort to use up the ingredients in my refrigerator that are calling out to be prepared and eaten before they die a slow death.  Some ingredients are harder to find uses for than others.  One item that I can't seem to use up is Greek yogurt. I buy the big tub-o-yogurt from Costco and usually use half of the container, at best.  Then there is the pantheon vegetables that never see the light day and go from the fridge straight to the trash can.  Don't get me wrong, I buy them with the full intention of making some yummy dish.  But somehow life intervenes and those dishes I had big plans for never come to fruition. 

Another item I struggle with is buttermilk.  I don't believe I have ever used an entire container of buttermilk. Ever. Even the smaller container. Last weekend I bought a quart of low fat buttermilk to make one of my favorite pies, Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Pie to bring to Mother's Day lunch.  It's a fabulous pie, by the way.  Especially if you make it with a graham cracker crust.  Anyway, given my track record with buttermilk I didn't even think about how else I could use up the remainder.  I sadly just made the assumption it would see the depths of the trash at some point. But my Hubby said, hey, why don't you make that baked chicken with buttermilk?  It's an Ellie Krieger recipe where you soak chicken tenders in buttermilk and then coat them with crushed cornflakes.  Great idea!  I haven't made the chicken yet, but it's on the menu for tomorrow evening.

You are probably wondering how all this ties to Blueberry Muffins?  Hubbies suggestion about the chicken got me thinking what else I could use the buttermilk for.  That this buttermilk did not have to be destined for waste.  So I went in search of options last night.  I pulled 3 random cookbooks from my small collection and started thumbing through them.  The perfect recipe appeared in the Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics cookbook.  Blueberry Streusel Muffins.  I had all the ingredients in house, including buttermilk, blueberries (left over from last week's pie and were begging to be used), lemon zest.....Perfect!

And it was the perfect way to start off a Saturday.  The muffins are easy to make.  The buttermilk makes them incredibly tender and they are topped with a crunchy cinnamon streusel.  Delicious.  It would make a perfect accompaniment to a brunch menu.

Look how tender it is!

I loved the muffin base, so light and moist.  Though I enjoyed the streusel, I think I slightly prefer this muffin crumble topping.  Ina's muffin with Melissa's crumble will be my next blueberry muffin to try.

Maybe you have some buttermilk in your refrigerator begging to be used?

Blueberry Streusel Muffins
from Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics

Makes 20 muffins
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups buttermilk, shaken
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 extra-large eggs
2 cups fresh blueberries (2 half pints)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line muffin tins with paper liners.

Sift or whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl.  In a small bowl whisk the buttermilk, melted butter, lemon zest, and eggs together. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture with a fork, mixing just until blended. Note: I added a couple extra tablespoons of buttermilk because the batter was quite thick.  Gently fold in the blueberries. Do not over mix batter.  Fill prepared muffin cups 3/4 full of batter.  Top with streusel topping.  See recipe below.
Streusel Topping:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced

Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the butter is in very small pieces. Pour into a bowl and rub with your fingers until crumbly. Spoon 1 tablespoon of streusel on top of each muffin. Note: a tablespoon seems like a lot, but it's just right when the muffin bakes up. 

Bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.   

1 comment:

  1. I could have written this post Gloria - if I kept a record of how much food ends up in the garbage here I'd probably be sick. Fruits and veggies along with leftovers are the biggest problems here and like you, a lot of it is due to my intentions just not matching reality. One tip - the powdered buttermilk is a lifesaver. I used to throw away so much buttermilk, but the powdered lasts for a really long time, and I haven't had any trouble baking with it.

    Your muffins look great - I just baked something with blueberries this weekend because mine were dying a slow death in the fridge :)