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

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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.

3 comments :

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!