Blue Blueberry Muffins

I confess. I have a love for murder mysteries. And food. And humor. Then, when you combine it all, you get triple enjoyment. These muffins are from a book I'm now in the middle of, Blueberry Muffin Murder, by Joanne Fluke. There's a mystery here, as well as wit and good recipes. Nothing deep folks, it's light entertainment for the end of my day.

The secret to these Blue Blueberry Muffins is the addition of blueberry pie filling, which gives an extra zap of the berry flavor and color. Then, they're finished with a Crumb Topping, to which I made my only change. For part of the flour I substituted some oat bran, to give a bit more crunch and taste. I had a late breakfast this morning, but it was worth the wait.

I've read some of her other mysteries and would recommend them also, if you're into this particular genre. I like to mix them in with other sorts of fiction. Now, to mix up the muffins:

Blue Blueberry Muffins
From the Blueberry Muffin Murder by Joanne Fluke

Preheat oven to 375F
rack in the middle position

3/4 cup melted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 cup sugar
2 beaten eggs (just whip them up with a fork)
2 teaspoons baking powder (make sure there's no lumps)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (no need to thaw if they're frozen)
1/2 cup blueberry pie filling
2 cups, plus 1 tablespoon flour (no need to sift)
1/2 cup milk

Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup sugar (I would probably use brown next time)
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons oat bran
1/4 cup softened butter (1/2 stick)

Butter the bottoms only of a 12-cup muffin pan (or line the cups with cupcake papers). Melt the butter. Mix in the sugar. Then add the beaten eggs, baking powder and salt, and mix thoroughly.

Put the extra one tablespoon of flour in a plastic bag with your cup of fresh or frozen blueberries. Shake it gently to coat the berries, and leave them in the bag for now.

Add 1 cup of the remaining flour to your bowl and mix it in with 1/2 of the milk. Then add the rest of the flour and milk and mix thoroughly.

Now, the fun part: Add 1/2 cup blueberry pie filling to your bowl and mix it in. (Your dough will turn a shade of blue, but don't let that stop you - once the muffins are baked, they'll look just fine.) When your dough is well mixed, fold in the flour-coated berries.

Fill the muffin tins 3/4's full and set them aside. If you have dough left over, butter the bottom of a small tea-bread size loaf pan and fill it with your remaining batter. My muffin tin is the regular size and I had extra for the tea loaf. If you have the bigger size muffin pan, there will be just enough.

Make the crumb topping: Mix the sugar, flour and oat bran (if using) in a small bowl. Add the softened butter and cut in until crumbly. Sprinkle the topping over the muffins and bake at 375F for 25-30 minutes. The tea bread should bake about 10 minutes longer than the muffins.)

The author recommends freezing the remaining pie filling in 1/2 cup portions (paper cups in zip-lock bags) for making muffins later. You could also heat and use it for topping waffles!

These are now my favorite blueberry muffins. Sooo good. Enjoy.

As an addendum, I am adding a recipe for Blueberry Pie Filling, as it is so simple, I usually make my own. Cut the amounts down as you wish.

Blueberry Pie Filling

5 cups (~150 g)  blueberries
3/4 cup (131 g) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons strained blueberry juice

1. Combine sugar, flour, cornstarch, and cinnamon in separate bowl and set aside.

2. Put frozen blueberries in a glass bowl and microwave on high to thaw, about 1 to 2 minutes. Put thawed berries into a mesh strainer and strain well, reserving 2 tablespoons of the liquid. This is important because too much liquid will make a soggy pie (or muffin).

3. Combine dry ingredients and blueberries in stainless pan. Stir gently until mixture is well-blended while adding the strained juice.

4. Simmer over medium heat until thickened.   Let it cool and bottle or freeze in plastic bags.

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