Monday, March 12, 2012

Meatless Monday--Blackberry, Lemon, and Thyme Muffins

Out of all the great-looking recipes in this month's Bon Appetit, these muffins were the ones that grabbed me the most.  I just love the balance of sweet, tangy fruit and earthy herbs like thyme.  These muffins were specifically created by Chef Elizabeth Belkind as a coffee-pairing treat.  Double score!  I mean, one of the only things better than that morning cup of coffee is enjoying the coffee with a yummy treat.  What a delicious start to the day.

**Note: This recipe can be made in large paper baking cups like these.  I made these the morning after I got my magazine, so I didn't have time to go to the baking supply store for them.  I've noted baking times (which are longer than typical muffins) for larger cups and standard-sized muffins in this post.

Blackberry, Lemon, and Thyme Muffins
from Bon Appetit, March 2012

For the crumble: 
1 c. cake flour 
1/4 c. sugar 
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme 
1/2 tsp. baking powder 
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt 
6 TBSP (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-in. cubes 
1 large egg yolk

For the muffins: 
1 c. plus 2 TBSP all-purpose flour 
1 c. cake flour 
1 tsp. baking powder 
3/4 tsp. baking soda 
1 tsp. kosher salt 
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 
1 c. sugar (I only used 3/4 c. and found the muffins plenty sweet)
2 large eggs 
1 tsp. vanilla extract 
1 c. buttermilk 
2 TBSP finely grated lemon zest 
1 1/2 c. fresh (or frozen, thawed, drained) blackberries (about 6 oz.), halved lengthwise 
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

1.  To make the crumble, whisk the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl.  Using your fingertips, rub in butter until pea-size lumps form.  Add egg yolk then stir to evenly distribute and form moist clumps. (Crumble should resemble a mixture of pebbles and sand.) Chill for at least 1 hour.  Can be made up to 3 days in advance.
2.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. If making standard-size muffins, line 16 wells of a muffin tin with paper liners. 
3.  Whisk 1 c. all-purpose flour and next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl.  Using an electric mixer, beat butter until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and continue to beat until well incorporated, 2–3 minutes longer.  
4.  Whisk eggs and vanilla in a small bowl to blend; gradually beat into butter mixture. Continue beating until light and fluffy, 3–4 minutes. Combine buttermilk and lemon zest in a small bowl; gradually beat into butter mixture. Add dry ingredients and beat until just to blended (do not overmix). 
5.  Toss blackberries and thyme with 2 Tbsp. flour in another small bowl;  fold into batter, gently crushing berries slightly to release some juices. Divide between prepared muffin cups or, if using large paper molds, spoon in about 2/3 cup batter.  Top each large muffin with 2 TBSP crumble or each small muffin with 1 rounded TBSP crumble. 
6.  Bake until tops are golden brown and a tester comes out clean when inserted into center, about 40 minutes for standard-size muffins or 50 minutes for large muffins.  Let cool in pan 15-20 minutes, then transfer muffins to a wire rack to continue cooling. Serve warm or at room temperature.  Can be kept in an airtight container for one additional day.


That Girl said...

If blueberry muffins weren't already in the works for this week I'd be all over these! Maybe next week.

Mary said...

These really look delicious. I love to visit here. I never leave empty handed and always have something to take back to my own kitchen. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Elizabeth said...

Muffins are the perfect way to start the day!