The Vintage Chef Olivia Potts

The trick to making blueberry muffins

The trick to making blueberry muffins
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I don’t quite know how the Americans got away with it: convincing first their own people, and then the rest of the world that a muffin is a suitable breakfast food? A foodstuff which is, let’s be honest, cake. But then, we are quite happy to sprinkle our worthy porridge liberally with demerara sugar, to use yoghurt in our overnight oats or alongside granola, to combine butter and flour in any manner of breakfast staples from toast to pancakes, what’s so different about combining all those things?

In any event, I’m not one to complain about an excuse to squeeze more baked goods into my life; and seeing as those Americans know a thing or two about breakfast baking, I have adapted a recipe from American blogger extraordinaire, Smitten Kitchen, whose recipe in turn takes notes from American pastry chef and recipe developer Stella Parks’, adjusting it slightly for an English audience. This recipe uses lots and lots of blueberries: cramming in as many as possible, in a batter which is much thicker than many muffin doughs, and topping it with a layer of demerara sugar to create a deliciously crunchy topping. And best of all, they’re easy and speedy enough to knock up for a weekend breakfast; just keep a bag of frozen blueberries in your freezer, and you can’t go wrong!

Blueberry muffins

Makes: 9 blueberry muffins

Takes: 10 minutes, plus cooling

Bakes: 30 minutes

75g salted butter, melted and cooled a little

100g caster sugar

200g yoghurt

1 lemon, zested

1 egg

200g self raising flour

250g frozen blueberries

Handful demerara sugar

  1. Heat oven to 180°C. Using muffin cases, line a 9-hole muffin tin.

  1. In a large bowl, weigh out the self raising flour. In a smaller bowl, mix the butter, yoghurt, egg, sugar, and lemon zest. Combine the two bowls, and fold in the berries.

  1. Divide between the nine muffin cases, and sprinkle each muffin generously with demerara sugar.

  1. Bake for half an hour, until the muffins are golden and puffed and, when pressed gently with a finger, spring back. Allow to cook for fifteen minutes in the tray, then transfer the muffins in their cases to a cooling rack.

Written byThe Vintage Chef Olivia Potts

Olivia Potts is a former criminal barrister who retrained as a pastry chef. She co-hosts The Spectator’s Table Talk podcast and writes Spectator Life's The Vintage Chef column. A chef and food writer, she was winner of the Fortnum and Mason's debut food book award in 2020 for her memoir A Half Baked Idea.

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