These two delicious breakfast recipes highlight the use of plump and juicy U.S. blueberries. The first is tender Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping, and the second is the super easy Lemon Blueberry Pancakes.
Blueberries are one of those things that I wish I could eat all the time. Truth be told, they are probably my favorite berries, but I never seem to have too many chances to eat them, let alone use them for baking. My mother buys blueberries every once in a while, but we can never seem to catch them at their peak. I remember there was a time she brought home a big container of good-looking blueberries, but underneath they were mushy and sour. I think anyone would feel dejected about this, especially after shelling out a lot of money. But then we tried these organic U.S. blueberries from Rainier Fruit for the first time, and boy was it an eye-opening experience.
I don’t think I’ve every shared this before, but one of my travel goals in life is to go fruit picking in different farms all around the world. There’s something about the idea of this activity that attracts me. Of course, going to a blueberry farm is part of that list. Since North America produces some of the best blueberries in the world, it would be amazing to experience blueberry picking there. I was quite fascinated to learn that there are actually five main varieties of blueberries being grown in the U.S. The one we are used to seeing in supermarkets is a variety called highbush blueberries. These are the plump, juicy, vibrantly colored blueberries with that lovely little silver sheen on the surface.
It’s easy enough for me to imagine myself in a blueberry farm, running my hands under a clump of blueberries and catching the ripe ones in a basket. I bet it would be pretty amazing to go blueberry picking in the U.S. during the peak months of mid-June to mid-August, although these days, fresh blueberries seem to be available all year round.
My dream of visiting a blueberry farm may have to be put on hold for now, but I’m quite happy we still have access to U.S. blueberries even at a time like this. Locally, you can buy U.S. blueberries from S&R Membership Shopping, or have them delivered to your door from Always Fresh PH, Fruit Loot PH, Dizon Farms Delivers, and Prutasan ni Adan. Pretty convenient, methinks!
Still, I can’t help but get so jealous of the American food bloggers I follow every time the peak of blueberry season comes around. I can’t take my eyes off the abundance of blueberries on their feeds. All those images of this purple fruit in all their fresh and plump glory always make me daydream. I’d think about which recipes I’d make if I had access to that much beautiful blueberries.
To say that my prayers were answered would be an understatement when a magical crate of U.S. blueberries ended up at my door. Funnily enough, when I actually had the blueberries in my hands, I suddenly found myself at a loss thinking about what recipe I wanted to make. So many things ran through my mind, and I ended up pondering long and hard about it. Somehow, I circled back to the “classic and familiar” territory.
The idea of making Blueberry Muffins, the classic of all classic blueberry recipes, simply felt right. When I made this connection, my mind’s eye immediately saw myself at the breakfast table, biting into a fresh batch of warm Blueberry Muffins. And because it sometimes pays to be extra, I’d bake my muffins with a streusel topping too. The streusel would be falling all over the place with each bite I took, but I wouldn’t mind in the least. I’d be too preoccupied looking at the dark violet juices running down the muffin crumb inside.
But then my brain said, What beautiful breakfast is complete without pancakes? That’s when I decided I also needed to make some Lemon Blueberry Pancakes for good measure. While the Blueberry Muffins are in the oven, I had some time to spare right? Two easy and spectacular blueberry recipes ready in time for a lazy Sunday breakfast is really not bad at all.
Blueberry Muffins Notes
I’ve been looking for an opportunity to make the Blueberry Muffins I saw from Sally’s Baking Addiction for a while now, and with these delicious U.S. blueberries at my disposable, I’d be a fool not to finally do so. I was certainly not disappointed! And neither were my family members. I managed to make ten medium-sized muffins, and eight were immediately polished off. That’s a new record in our house for sure! These are super tender and dotted with juicy blueberries inside. It also has this underlying buttery-ness that goes well with the sweet cinnamon-pecan streusel topping.
I made some minor adjustments to the recipe from the original. For one thing, I halved the amount of ingredients for the streusel because the original made way too much. I also altered the instructions a bit to reflect how to make it by hand, rather than with a machine. Sometimes when I wake up early in the morning, I feel too bleary-eyed to operate a machine. (Is it just me?) In any case, I also indicated how to make it using a stand mixer. Apart from that, I don’t really have anything I want to change about this recipe. I love it as it is. I do have some very important things to point out about the process of making these Blueberry Muffins though.
Just like with any muffin recipe, it’s important not to overmix the batter once the dry ingredients go in. In the instructions I have below, I add the dry mixture in two batches, with the milk in between, just to make it easier to work everything in using as few strokes as possible. It’s important to make sure you scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl as you fold things in, so that no hidden flour pockets remain. Use big strokes to get the batter moving without needing to mix so much.
Once you add in all the dry mixture, stop mixing the moment the last pocket of flour disappears into the batter. Then add in the blueberries and once again, fold in large strokes just until the blueberries are distributed. STOP. Resist the urge to keep mixing until the batter looks super smooth. If you’re wondering why I keep emphasizing this bit, it’s because I really want you to enjoy these Blueberry Muffins at their best form. If you overmix your batter, the texture of the muffins will no longer be tender. It may become hard and dense!
By the way, if you’re able, use sour cream to make these muffins. I know that it hasn’t been easy to buy sour cream lately– even I had to stick to yogurt when I made this– but I generally find the taste and texture of baked goods just a bit better when I use sour cream. In any case, yogurt works too. The muffins will come out not too sweet either way, allowing the U.S. blueberries to shine.
The streusel is where most of the sweetness will come from, but how much you add on top is up to you. These Blueberry Muffins, with that yummy streusel topping, is a wonderful way to use up some precious blueberries for sure.
Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping
Makes 10 to 14 muffins
For the muffins
- 1¾ cups 220 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup 115 grams unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup 100 grams granulated sugar
- ¼ cup 50 grams packed light or dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup 120 grams sour cream or plain/vanilla yogurt, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup 60 mL milk, at room temperature
- 1½ cups 250 grams fresh blueberries (can also use frozen)
For the streusel topping
- ¼ cup 50 grams packed light or dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup 33 grams chopped walnuts or pecans
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Make the muffins
- Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Grease a 12-cup muffin pan either with nonstick spray or butter, or simply line with cupcake liners. Depending on the size of your muffin pan, you can make anywhere from 10 to 14 muffins so you may need an extra pan. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate large bowl, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together until smooth and creamy. (This will take about 2 minutes on high speed using a machine.)
- Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the sour cream/yogurt and vanilla extract then beat until combined. If the mixture curdles slightly, don’t worry too much. (Do this step at medium speed if using a machine.)
- Using a spatula fold in half of the dry ingredients until nearly mixed in, then add in the milk. Mix until completely combined, then add in the last half of the flour mixture. Mix just until the last flour pocket disappears. Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl as you fold to incorporate everything in as few strokes as possible. Fold in the blueberries just until distributed. (This step can be done at low speed using a machine.) Do not overmix!
- Divide the batter among your muffin cups, filling all the way to the top. If you used a muffin pan that’s just slightly larger than the usual size as I did, you may only get 10 muffins. Make sure to add a small amount of water to the empty cups so it won’t burn.
Make the streusel
- Mix all of the streusel ingredients together, then spoon over the batter in the pan. You can add as much or as little as you please. Gently press the streusel into the surface of the muffins to help it stick.
- Bake muffins for 5 minutes at 425°F (218°C), then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C). Continue baking for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool for about 20 minutes until easy to handle, then transfer to wire rack to continue cooling. These muffins can be eaten warm or at room temperature. (But they also taste great out of the fridge!)
Lemon Blueberry Pancakes Notes
This second recipe is an even easier one. I actually ended up making this on a whim, while the muffins were in the oven. I suddenly had a strong craving for pancakes, and being a fan of the blueberry and lemon combo, I jumped on the chance to make these Lemon Blueberry Pancakes. Because I was unprepared, it was pretty comical how I was literally praying that we had lemons in the fridge as I went to check. Luckily, the other ingredients needed for this recipe are mostly pantry staples.
Making these pancakes is quite similar to the process of the Blueberry Muffins in that you also need to take care not to overmix. Similarly, overmixing the batter will create dense and hard pucks rather than pancakes. It’s interesting how something can go from soft and fluffy to hard and dense just with a few more strokes of mixing, right?
You prepare this batter by mixing the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately, then folding them together in large strokes, mixing as few times as possible. You want the batter thick and lumpy. (Again, resist mixing this until completely smooth!) This batter can actually be made the night before, then stored in the fridge for the next morning. The blueberries should be added right before cooking, mixing just until distributed and no more. Keep the batter thick and lumpy and you should be fine!
Cooking pancakes is always a fun exercise for me. Everything from the scent of melted butter to the way those mounds of scooped batter spread into discs feels therapeutic. You need to have some patience when you’re cooking pancakes. Don’t flip them too early or the batter will run all over the place. Always watch for those bubbles on the surface of your pancakes before flipping, and you’ll be rewarded with a lovely golden brown pattern.
The best part about these specific pancakes is the way the berries cook and pop, running violet juice along the pancake’s surface like paint on a canvass. The blueberries ripen even further due to the heat, so once you bite into them, they are even sweeter and juicier! I don’t like to add a lot of sugar into my pancake batter because I always eat my pancakes with syrup, but you can adjust the amount of sugar as you please. I like to let the blueberries do most of the talking. They seem to taste even more tart thanks to the touch of lemon. How can these Lemon Blueberry Pancakes be so simple but so good?!
Lemon Blueberry Pancakes
Serves 4 to 6
- 1½ cups 187.5 grams all-purpose flour
- 2 to 4 Tablespoons 26 to 52 grams granulated sugar, depending on taste
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 to 3 teaspoons lemon zest, from 1 large or 3 medium lemons
- 1 cup 240 mL milk or milk alternative of choice
- 2 large eggs
- 4 Tablespoons 57 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 Tablespoons 30 mL fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup 170 grams fresh blueberries (can use frozen)
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons butter or oil, for cooking pancakes
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. In a separate medium bowl or large measuring jug, whisk together milk, eggs, butter, and fresh lemon juice.
- Add wet ingredients into the dry, and using a spatula, fold the mixture together in large strokes, using as few strokes as possible. Stop mixing once the last pocket of flour disappears. The batter should be quite thick and lumpy.
- If not yet ready to cook, you can cover and refrigerate the batter for up to 24 hours. Otherwise, fold the blueberries in just until distributed, using similar large strokes and mixing as little as possible. Avoid overmixing the batter to get tender pancakes.
- When ready to cook, heat a large skillet over medium heat with butter or oil. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, drop batter into the skillet and cook the first side for 2 to 4 minutes, or until bubbles form on the surface of the pancakes and the bottoms are golden brown. Flip and cook the other side for about 2 minutes or so until golden brown.
- Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more butter/oil to the pan as needed to prevent pancakes from sticking. Serve warm with maple syrup, more butter, and more blueberries.
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Full disclosure: This post was made in partnership with U.S. Blueberries Philippines and the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council. All opinions stated are my own, but facts and figures stated are taken from the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council website. You can visit it to learn more about U.S. Blueberries. You can buy fresh U.S. blueberries from S&R Membership Shopping, or have them delivered to your door from Always Fresh PH, Fruit Loot PH, Dizon Farms Delivers, and Prutasan ni Adan.