Mary Berry's Blueberry Muffins

Sunday, 1 August 2021

Mary Berry's Blueberry Muffins 
I thought that there was no better way to begin the month of August than to share a delicious blueberry recipe.  And you cannot get more delicious than an old fashioned blueberry muffins!  

Whenever I think of August, I think of blueberries and corn, and when I think of wild blueberries, I immediately think of blueberry pie and blueberry muffins! It doesn't get much better than that!



Mary Berry's Blueberry Muffins 
Today's delicious Blueberry Muffin recipe comes from none other than the baking doyenne herself, Mary Berry.  This is a gracious lady who has been around the kitchen more than a few times.

I love LOVED her on the Great British Bakeoff show.  Somehow it was just not the same after she left.  She brought a sense of class to the show.

Mary Berry's Blueberry Muffins 
This recipe comes from her book, Mary Berry's Baking Bible, which contains over 250 classic recipes.  I, quite simply, love this book, almost as much as I love her! 

You know muffins you buy at the shops?  They are always far too big, far too sweet and far too expensive for what you are getting.

Mary Berry's Blueberry Muffins 
More cake than muffin, more often than not, they truly are disappointing. When I want a muffin, I want a muffin, and when I want cake I want cake.

These muffins are muffins, pure and simple. Not too sweet. Not too large. Beautifully textured.  But then again, I would expect nothing less from Mary Berry.

Mary Berry's Blueberry Muffins 
I was very intrigued by the manner in which these were put together.  You whisk together self rising flour and baking powder and then you drop in butter, which you rub into the flour with your fingertips.

Just until the mixture resembles fine dry breadcrumbs.  I have done this often for making cakes, but never for muffins.  Usually muffins use melted butter or oil.

Mary Berry's Blueberry Muffins 

Once you have the butter rubbed in you add lemon zest and sugar.   I was tempted to use Dorie Greenspan's method of rubbing the lemon zest into the sugar, but for this first time baking these muffins I thought I would go with Mary's method.

She uses caster sugar which is a finely granulated sugar. In the UK their granulated sugar is much more coarser than ours in North America.  It is perfectly fine to just use granulated sugar in these in North America.  

It is pretty much the same in texture as caster sugar. 

Mary Berry's Blueberry Muffins 

Its funny how things like something as simple as sugar, or flour for that matter, can differ greatly from one country to the next.  In the UK, they mostly recommend caster sugar for baking.

That is because their granulated sugar is so coarse that it doesn't melt properly in recipes. If you have ever had a cake come out of the oven with a speckled top, that's because your sugar was too coarse and not creamed in well enough. 

Mary Berry's Blueberry Muffins
 

The purpose of creaming is to almost melt the sugar into the butter so that doesn't happen.  For these, it didn't seem to matter.

In fact, in the UK, more often than not, the sugar is just stirred into the dry ingredients, like in scones for instance.  I thought that totally odd, but it also totally works, especially if you are using caster sugar.  

Mary Berry's Blueberry Muffins

As with any muffin recipe, the wet ingredients are stirred into the dry ingredients, just until they are combined.  That is what gives them their beautiful texture.

In a cake, you want a finer texture and crumb.  Muffins are meant to be much more rustic. They are classified as a quick bread not a cake, and should eat as such.

Mary Berry's Blueberry Muffins 
Oh how I wish I had had some wild blueberries to use in these muffins. I can only think how lovely they would be with wild berries.  

Alas, my blueberry picking days are over.  When I was a child we spent many a hot day in August picking blueberries for my mother.  It was hot, back breaking work.

Mary Berry's Blueberry Muffins 
Unlike high bush berries, wild blueberries grown close to the ground. You need to crouch when you are picking them. I cannot crouch these days due to arthritis.

But I have many fond memories of having picked them in the past.  Most people here in Nova Scotia have their favorite blueberry picking territories, and are loath to share them with someone else.  They do grow wild just about everywhere. 

Mary Berry's Blueberry Muffins 
But are much more abundant in some areas than in others.  When you find a prime spot you tend to stick to it and keep it to yourself.  We once owned a house in Nictaux, close to the falls.  

There was a gravel pit up back of us. The soil was dry and sandy and we had tons of berries, ripe for the picking. You could go out and pick every day and would have your bucket filled in next to no time.

Mary Berry's Blueberry Muffins 
The only problem with blueberries and the month of August is that the bears are out there picking them also.  I can remember always being bear aware when picking berries as a child. 

The bears are out scavenging and filling up their bellies in August for the Winter's hibernation they know lies ahead, and so you are as likely to come across a bear in the bush as you are berries.  So you do need to be careful.

I am terrified of bears. Absolutely terrified. 

Mary Berry's Blueberry Muffins

In any case, I did not have to fight the bears for these berries I used today. They were highbush berries, not quite as sweet as the wild, but delicious nonetheless.  

I took half of these over to my next door neighbor.  I thought she would enjoy them.

These are a lovely muffin.  Light and beautifully textured. Not too sweet, and stuffed with plenty of berries. I highly recommend!! If they are good enough for Mary, they are plenty good enough for me!

Mary Berry's Blueberry Muffins

Mary Berry's Blueberry Muffins

Yield: 8
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 25 MinTotal time: 35 Min
Moist and delicious and stuffed with sweet berries!

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup plus 1 TBS (250g) self rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 1/2 TBS (50g) butter,  at room temperature
  • 6 1/2 TBS (75g) caster sugar (fine granulated sugar)
  • 3/4 cup (175g) blueberries
  • the finely grated zest of one lemon
  • 2 large free range eggs, beaten
  • 9 fluid ounces (250ml) milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400*F/200*C/ gas mark 6.  Butter a muffin tin really well, or line with paper liners. (I used a six cup muffin tin and 2 ramekins.)
  2. Measure the flour and baking powder into a bowl and give it a good stir.  Drop in the butter and then rub it into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine dry bread crumbs.  Stir in the lemon zest, sugar and blueberries.
  3. Mix the eggs and milk together and then add to the dry ingredients, stirring all together just until the mixture is combined. Its okay if the batter is a bit lumpy. In fact, this is desirable.
  4. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups filling them almost to the top. 
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until well risen and golden brown. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean and they should spring back when lightly touched.
  6. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then tip out onto a wire rack to cool for a bit longer.
  7. Beautiful served warm with a nice hot cuppa!
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18 comments

  1. Oh you can't go wrong with a Mary Berry recipe and these look fabulous. It's prime blueberry picking time here, so I see these in my near future. We love blueberry muffins!

    I laughed at people being cagey about disclosing their favourite berry picking grounds. Here blueberries grow everywhere in the woods, so it's easy to find them. What people here are reluctant to tell you is where they find their golden chanterelle mushrooms - they clam up in an instant if you try and get any clue from them :)

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    1. Its the same with people's favourite fishing spots as well Marie. They all have their secrets. I suppose it isn't much different from having secret ingredients we are loathe to disclose to others. I am such an open book. I really have no secrets. lol Blueberries grow wild all over the place here as well. There is plenty for everyone! These are great blueberry muffins! xoxo

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  2. Blueberry muffins are my favourite. If I don't have blueberries I might use blackberries. Both are good. Glad the bears didn't get you, Marie. Enjoy your Sunday. Love and hugs, Elaine

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    1. Blackberries would be great Elaine! I think any berry would work well. Love and hugs to you! xoxo

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  3. Here in Canada Castor sugar is called Fruit sugar, it is not the same texture as granulated sugar.

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    1. You can buy castor sugar in Bulk Barn in Canada.

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    2. I have used fruit sugar, and I have used granulated sugar and I have used castor sugar. The granulated sugar here in Canada is much finer than the granulated sugar in the UK and is perfectly fine for baking with. In the UK the granulated sugar is much coarser and not at all suited to baking with, although people do. My point being is that you can use North American granulated sugar without any problem. It is not quite the same as castor sugar, but quite acceptable.

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    3. You can also very easily make your own Linda, just blitz some regular sugar in a food processor! xo

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  4. Hi Marie, fresh blueberries are a bit pricy here in the uk, was wondering if I could sub with frozen. Thanks : )
    P. S. You've made your home very beautiful, so happy you are settled with your family around you.

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    1. I used frozen fruit for these today Faye. The only problem is they will bleed a bit and your batter might become a bit purple/grey. The taste and texture will be fine! Thanks so much for you kind words! xoxo

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  5. We call those wild blueberries huckleberries and until the people next door tore down every tree and bush, we had them in abundance every summer. Can't go wrong with Mary Berry, even if you get your berries from the store!

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    1. You are right about MaryBerry Jeanie! I have never seen a huckleberry! Xoxo

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  6. I miss seeing Mary in the show, really haven't watched it since.

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    1. Neither have I really! I think she just didn't want to move over to the new Network that had bought out the show. Neither did Sharon and Sue! The new team on Channel 4 are really not as good or as comfortable as the old bunch were. I was never really that into Paul Hollywood anyways. xoxo

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  7. These look fabulous, Marie. I just made some yesterday with another recipe and now regret I didn't wait a day as I would have used this recipe. Yummmy!
    Thanks for your lovely photos and recipes!

    Mary

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  8. I can't see half the recipe because a google ad keeps popping up

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    Replies
    1. There is an ad, yes, but if you check and read the recipe, you will see it doesn’t cover any of the recipe at all.

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