So in case you were unaware - there are two types of muffins in the baking world.
You have English style muffins which came about around 10th or 11th Century. They contain yeast, need a little time to rise and are cooked in a pan. These kind of muffins you will be wanting to slather some monkey nut butter on, top with salmon, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce and the like - yes those kind.
However... we are here talking about American style muffins. The quick bread type, classified in that group along with scones.
Muffins were developed around the end of the 18th Century. This is when pearlash, or potassium carbonate was adventurously added to a dough. The leavening agent added carbon dioxide gas to the dough, allowing it to rise considerably and resulted in a lighter cakey texture. Pearlash was actually exported to Europe in large quantities until baking powder was developed commercially around the 1860's.
So with that little history lesson - let's move on to the recipe and discover how easy it is to make these delicious blueberry muffins. Get dirty and mix with your hands (that's what baking is all about!) and always be in a happy mood when you bake - believe it or not, this affects the end result.
Makes about 6 large muffins or 12 small cupcake size muffins
THE INGREDIENTS - CRUMBLE
125g plain unbleached white flour
60g unrefined caster sugar
60g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
a pinch of salt
THE METHOD - CRUMBLE
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until a rough large bread crumb consistency. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.
THE INGREDIENTS - MUFFINS
115g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
240mls whole fresh milk
2 medium eggs
400g plain unbleached flour
1 tblsp baking powder
200g unrefined caster sugar
250g fresh or frozen blueberries
pinch of fine sea salt
THE METHOD - MUFFINS
Preheat the oven to 180'C. Brush muffin tin with butter and dust lightly with plain flour. Turn the tin upside down to remove excess flour. Place the prepared muffin tin in the fridge until the batter is ready.
Put flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a large mixing bowl
Add the cubed butter to the flour mix and rub in with your finger tips until you reach a fine bread crumb consistency.
In a small mixing bowl or jug, add milk and eggs. Stir until combined and then add to the flour/butter mix. Stir until just incorporated.
Lastly add the blueberries and mix through until the fruit is evenly dispersed. Don't over mix your muffin batter as the end muffin result will be a dry hard muffin.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tin which should be nice and chilled. Fill the holes right to the top of the tin. When the muffins rise they will spill over and create a lovely muffin top.
Finally add 2.5 tablespoons of the prepared crumble to the top of the wet muffin mix in the tins. Pack down lightly.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes (depending on the quality of your oven) until lovely and golden. Allow to cool slightly before turning them out onto a cooling rack.
Eat them fresh out of the oven with a good strong cup of coffee and you are ready to start your week!!!
Store in an airtight container for a few days or you can also freeze these muffins.
NOTE; you can make the crumble in advance and have it already frozen for when you have the urge to make crumble muffins or a basic fruit crumble. Add any fresh or frozen fruit to this recipe if you are not too partial to blueberries