Berry season has arrived with bounteous displays of fresh blueberries wherever you turn that are ripe for baking up all those favorite blueberry cobblers, muffins, or tarts.
The muffin recipe that follows is a favorite of mine, adapted from a recipe in Nancy Silverton’s Pastries from the Labrea Bakery cookbook, 2000. Light and fluffy muffins busting with blueberries are guaranteed! This is also a reliable master recipe for other fresh berries as well as peaches, pears, or nectarines throughout the summer.
Blueberry Muffins with Almonds, Pecans, or Walnuts
Makes 12 muffins
- ½ cup (3 ounces) whole almonds pecans or walnuts
- 1 cup sugar 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped orange zest
- 1 tablespoon pus 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 2½ cups blueberries, divided
For the topping:
- 1 tablespoon egg white
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sliced blanched almonds, or pecan or walnut pieces
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 325 f / 165 c
Prepare a ½ cup capacity muffin tin, lightly coated with melted butter.
Spread the whole almonds or pecans on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly browned, about 15 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through to ensure that the nuts are evenly toasted. Remove from the oven and sat aside to cool.
Turn the oven temperature up to 350 f / 175 c
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the almonds, pecans, or walnuts with half of the sugar and process until it’s the consistency of fine meal.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, orange zest, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low for 2 to 3 minutes, until softened. Add the remaining sugar and ground nut mixture, and mix on medium for 3 or 4 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well between each addition. Slowly pour in the buttermilk and mix on medium, just to combine.
Add the flour in 3 batches, turning the mixer off before each addition and mixing on low until just combined.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in 2 cups of the blueberries.
To prepare the topping: in a small bowl whisk the egg white until frothy. Add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and the almonds, pecan, or walnut pieces.
Fill the muffin tin with batter to the rim. Push the remaining ½ cup of blueberries onto the tops of the muffins. Then spoon about a tablespoon of the topping over each muffin, concentrating the nuts on top of each muffin.
Bake for about 20 to 35 minutes, until the to topping is nicely browned and the muffins are firm to the touch. If the batter has cracked through the topping, gently press it downward with your fingertips to deflate.