I have some pumpkin plans for the blog this month but, until I get that stuff baked up, here’s a round-up of ALL THE PUMPKIN things on the blog.
I turned muffins into a skillet cake.
Not that muffins are the most difficult thing to make, but sometimes we want something even easier…right? That’s where this Blueberry Muffin Skillet comes in. It’s all things we love about blueberry muffins–buttery crumb, bright blueberries, plus a little lemon zest for freshness, a teensy bit of health from some flax and wheat germ, plus crunchy topping–minus the portioning. Just brown some butter, mix, pour, sprinkle, and bake. Even though there’s only one less step, it still feels like sweet freedom. And freedom means more weekend lounging, naps, leisurely walks, and magazine reading.
Blueberry Muffin Skillet
Adapted from Joy the Baker
If you don’t want to use the flax and wheat germ, reduce the milk to 1/3 cup. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, brown the butter in any saucepan or skillet you have and bake the cake in a greased pie plate or cake tin.
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon, divided
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons flax seed meal
2 tablespoons wheat germ
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Place the butter in a 9-10 inch cast iron skillet and heat over medium until the butter browns and becomes fragrant like toffee. Remove from the heat and pour the butter into a dish to cool.
In a large measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk the milk, egg + yolk, and vanilla until combined. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk half of the lemon zest with the flour, flax meal, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the milk mixture, followed by the browned butter, and fold until just combined–there may be a few spare lumps or streaks of flour, it’s okay. Fold in the blueberries and scrape the mixture into the cast iron skillet you used to brown the butter.
Make the topping by pinching the butter into the flour, remaining lemon zest, and sugar until crumbly. Sprinkle over the top of the batter. Bake in the center of the oven for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the muffin cake comes out clean. Cool on a rack for about 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Wrap any leftover pieces tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for a day or two.
Sometimes a girl–or dude–just wants to bake something that’s homemade, but stress free. Muffins are both of those things and they almost never disappoint.
My favorite thing about the humble, homemade muffin is that it can be almost-healthy to actually-healthy–using flours and germs and brans and fruits and healthy fats to boost the health factor. See, most store-bought varieties are packed with enough sugar and other stuff that makes them basically cake. I mean, cake is delicious and sometimes makes the BEST breakfast, but even I can’t go for cake-breakfast everyday. That’s why I love a muffin. It’s a quick bread in a cupcake outfit.
These muffins are of the almost-healthy variety. They use pantry staples and fresh, ripe banana for tenderness and flavor. The sunflower seeds are in there for some crunch–because I can’t resist adding texture to most things. The batter comes together by simply folding the whisked up wet ingredients into the sifted dry ingredients, and uses only a few dishes. The baked muffins are ultra-moist due to the combination of yogurt, banana, and olive oil. The dusting of powdered sugar is totally optional but makes for a pretty and slightly sweeter muffin.
Adapted from Donna Hay Modern Classics Book 2
Makes 12 regular muffins.
For tender and light muffins, be sure to mix the batter until the dry ingredients are just incorporated. Lumpy batter is okay, over-mixing the batter until it’s completely smooth will result in a chewy and dense muffin.
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sunflower seeds plus more for sprinkling (optional)
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used greek yogurt)
2 very ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350*F. Spray/grease or line a muffin tin with paper cups.
Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Toss in the sunflower seeds and mix to combine. In a large measuring cup whisk together the yogurt, banana, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Add the yogurt-banana mixture to the dry mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until just combined. Divide the batter between the 12 prepared muffin cups and bake in the center of the oven for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days.