My nearly 80-year old father in-law continues to take full advantage of the free educational system offered here in France, despite having already earned several graduate degrees during his younger days! Just two years ago, he finished an undergraduate program in astronomy, complete with a thesis on parallel universes. Following that, he completed an intensive 2-year Chinese language and literature program this past spring. And this fall, he just started an intensive Russian language and literature program to brush up on the language again. The man speaks FIVE languages fluently – I know, impressive, huh?!? I’ve been here nearly two years now, and I still can barely speak French coherently!
Before school started, my father in-law had told us that he wouldn’t have anymore time to socialize with us once the school year begins. So, he wanted to pay my little nephew one more visit before having to bury himself under a pile of schoolwork again. For this visit, I had promised to make some blueberry muffins for my nephew, but I had gotten home way too late the evening before and was too exhausted to pull out the mixer.
However, I had a chance to see my little nephew again before embarking on our much anticipated vacation in the south of France earlier this month when my sister-in law and her husband stopped by to visit our parents. I actually made a few batches of muffins this time since I had just started my vacation and had some time on my hands before leaving town. I made a batch for my father in-law because he likes to bring them to school as a snack. And of course, Jean, my nephew, also got a batch. Although, I’m not sure that he was too keen on tasting them, but his papa seemed to really like them based on the 2 to 3 he ate.
I went a little muffin crazy and made one more batch before heading south. My coworker had seen photos of the muffins I had made and said they looked tasty so I promised to make her some before leaving since I had to stop by the office briefly anyways. I love having coworkers to bake for again!
I found this recipe years ago on the internet, but I no longer know what the original source is. The only remains of the recipe are some random notes I had taken while making them during my days in Texas. Without a complete recipe, I’ve had to improvise and modify what I could make of my chicken scratches. After much testing, I can affirm that these muffins are about as good as blueberry muffins get, despite not having a crumble topping – moist and just the perfect amount of sweetness! In the US, fresh blueberries are abundant and relatively inexpensive. But here in France, they are a rarity, so I’ve had to resort to using frozen ones, which taste equally as good. These muffins are exquisite with a tasse de café.
Muffins aux Myrtilles
makes one dozen
100g butter, room-temperature
300g all-purpose flour
150g granulated sugar
6g baking powder
10ml vanilla extract
a good pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line muffin pan with paper liners.
Toss and coat blueberries with about a tablespoon of flour. In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat eggs in one at a time. Add vanilla extract. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk about a third at a time and mix until well combined after each addition. Gently fold in the blueberries. Fill the muffin cups to the top to get nicely rounded muffins. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the tops are a light golden color and a toothpick comes out clean after being inserted into a muffin center. Cool in the pan for about 5-10 minutes, then remove and cool them on a wire rack.