Monday, January 25, 2010

special request

The other day I was in the kitchen in the midst of creating some concoction when my husband came in and asked what I was making. I went into great detail about the ingredients and process as he listened patiently. When I finished with my tediously verbose food tirade, he looked at me and said…"I really like blueberry muffins". I couldn’t help but laugh. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in brioche this or calfoutis that I forget about the simple pleasures of a lovely muffin dosed in butter (French butter of course).

The next morning I complied with my sweet husbands request and made Rick Katz amazing blueberry muffins. There is a beautiful lightness about these muffins. Savored while still warm, the texture is melt-on-your-tongue light; only the plump blueberries seem substantial. The next day, when they have settled down, they are a different kind of wonderful. That is the day you might want to slice them, toast them, and let a little butter melt into them. Delish.


Blueberry Muffins
by Rick Katz

1 ¾ cup cake flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. salt
1 pint fresh blueberries
¾ cup milk
¼ cup sour cream
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter or spray 18 muffin cups or line them with paper bake cups. If you have two muffin tins with 12 cups, fill the 6 cups that will be empty in one of the tins with water-this will help the muffins bake evenly.

Sift the cake flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt together twice, and leave sifted dry ingredients in the sifter or strainer; set it on a piece of waxed paper. Remove a tablespoon or two of the dry ingredients and toss with the blueberries. In a separate bowl, stir the milk and sour cream together and set aside until needed.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or work with a handheld mixer), beat the butter on medium speed until white and pale, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until the mixer no longer feels grainy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the paddle and the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, yolk and beat until the mixture is fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and sift half of the dry ingredients into the bowl. Add half of the milk and sour cream mixture and, using a large rubber spatula, delicately fold the ingredients together, stopping when barely combined. Add the remaining dry and liquid ingredients and fold in only until just mixed-don’t be concerned about getting everything evenly incorporated. Sprinkle over the blueberries and fold them in only to the just-mixed stage.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling each cup at least two-thirds full, and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops, which will be flat, are golden and spring back when lightly pressed. Turn the muffins out onto a cooling rack and allow them to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Storing: The muffins will stay light and lovely for a day. If you are not going to serve them within a few hours of baking, pack them into a plastic bag; they’ll keep for 1 more day and will them be best sliced and toasted. For longer storage, wrap airtight and freeze for up to a month. Thaw, still wrapped, at room temperature.

1 comment: