One never really knows when or where culinary inspiration will strike. Like for instance yesterday morning I found myself in the mood to make some muffins, and with a large basket of blueberries sitting in the fridge, you know where I was heading, right? Yup, blueberry muffins. But I was also feeling inclined towards a hearty sort of muffin, and the idea came to me to adapt my favorite bran muffin to accommodate those gorgeous blueberries.
Of course, it wasn't all that hard to switch out the raisins in the recipe for blueberries and make a couple of other minor modifications, but I honestly wasn't at all certain that a molasses-laden bran muffin would be an appropriate vehicle for a delicate blueberry. But oh, they held up beautifully against the strong flavors and textures of that bran muffin. In fact, the pairing was wonderfully sublime.
Not being exactly sure of how many blueberries to add, I settled on the precise measurement of one cup plus a whole bunch more. Can you ever have enough blueberries? I think not.
The resulting muffin was nothing short of blueberry bran muffin magic. As you can see from the photo, these aren’t your typical blueberry muffins, but dark and dense and moist with wheat bran, molasses and brown sugar. Divine. Simply divine. Here's the recipe...
Blueberry Molasses Bran Muffins
These are not terribly sweet muffins, so if you like your muffins a little on the sweet side, you should probably add a little more brown sugar to the recipe. And if you would like to cut out or decrease the fat, just substitute applesauce for the butter. It works quite well in this recipe. If using frozen blueberries, add them to the batter while still frozen and add 5-7 minutes to the cooking time.
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1 cup sour cream or yogurt
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 1/2 to 2 cups blueberries
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup miller’s bran or wheat bran (not wheat germ)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the butter and the brown sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, the sour cream and the molasses.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, the baking soda, the salt, and the bran. Add the dry ingredients to the sour cream mixture, and stir the batter until it is just combined. (It's OK if the the batter is a little lumpy.) Gently stir in the blueberries.
Spoon the batter into 12 well-buttered muffin tins and bake on the middle rack for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown and springy to the touch. Turn the muffins out onto a rack to cool.
Makes 12 muffins.
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