Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Blueberry Orange Muffins

I used to make fantastic muffins. Absolutely rocking. But something happened when I moved to Chicago. They fall apart all the time. It's really annoying. So, I decided to give it another shot. I used to use Pioneer Baking Mix (I think), which wasn't available in Chicago, so I used to think that it was an issue with using the Pioneer recipe with Bisquik or whatever. Adjustments there didn't work and I eventually gave up.

This time, I figured I'd work from scratch. I picked a recipe from P.J. Gray and Stanley Hunter's Bear Cookin': The Original Guide to Bear Comfort Foods. One of these guys (P.J., I think) is a friend of a friend whom I met at a small brunch. He made several of the recipes and they were really, really good. So, I eagerly bought a copy of the book from him.

Guess what? Same stupid result. They taste pretty good, but they fall apart instantly.

I suspect that it was the egg issue I referred to in the Hollandaise sauce post. Age and size. Size, in particular, as I'm guessing that there wasn't enough protein binding the cake together.

The orange in the recipe is a cup of orange juice. I can't taste it at all. So, I'm figuring swapping that out for concentrate or adding a teaspoon or two of orange extract to taste would help give it the citrus taste I was expecting.

I also realized this morning that I didn't cook them long enough. I went by color and not by testing. So, I got a mouthful of raw dough. Ugh.

This is a good recipe, I think, I just need to work on my execution and make some tweaks for flavor.


Never thought you were much of a baker? Prove yourself wrong with this easy muffin recipe. "When blueberries are in season, I like to bake these often," Stanley confesses. "Now my friends can't wait for blue blueberry season. I wonder why?"

1 cup quick rolled oats
1 cup orange juice
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, beaten
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 to 4 cups fresh blueberries


1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix oats and orange juice; blend in oil and eggs and set aside. In another bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Add oat mixture and mix lightly. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin pans, filling 2/3 full. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over batter. Bake for approximately 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned.

Gray, PJ and Stanley Hunter. Bear Cookin’: the Original Guide to Bear Comfort Foods. New York: Harrington Park Press, 2003, p. 34.

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