28 January 2014

Blueberry Almond Spelt Muffins (Wheat-free)

This is quickly becoming a favorite flour combination for whole grain muffins around here: roughly half spelt flour, half blanched almond flour, with a little oat flour tucked in too. I'd say it's a 40-45-15 ratio, and it mixes up into a light and tender crumb that's durable but not dense and also wheat-free. It's the same batter from those pear spice muffins a few months back, deepened with some browned butter, yogurt tang, and a healthy dose of vanilla. 

I use roughly the same ratios from Sara's brown butter espresso chip muffins I love so much, only here I litter the batter with plump berries, lemon zest and improvise an informal streusal of crushed almonds and brown sugar. Ed has been requesting blueberries in all baked items, even in January, so I tossed some from my freezer stash in there (sigh-the stash is not, unfortunately left over from the summer farms; we got through even those that I'd frozen, well before fall went underway...)

But hey, I've learned something this week: a blueberry muffin is a blueberry muffin and is welcome in all seasons. These muffs are scrumptious, they hit the spot on a Sunday afternoon and, double-wrapped, are beautifully freezer-stashable for the coming week. Also, I have been trying a tip I picked up from the web: filling unfilled muffin wells with a little water just before placing the pan in the oven. I think it helps with even moisture and steam. And yes, that is a Connect Four game in the process shot. We won it in a grab bag and I tried to find a place on our object bookshelf as a hipster game item but somehow it keeps making its way to the kitchen table during cold mornings...sort of like an active errr...crossword puzzle. Anyway, the muffins. I hope you try them! Split open, cooled but still a hint warm, all they need is a tiny dollop of butter and some coffee on the side. 

I think I have to go make some more right now... xoxo

Blueberry Almond Spelt Muffins 

makes 5 standard

48 grams/  1/4 c + 2 Tbsp spelt flour
55 grams/ 1/2 c almond flour (I use Honeyville)
15 grams / 2.5 Tbsp oat flour (grind up oats in clean coffee grinder)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/3 c light brown sugar

1 egg
40 ml plain whole milk yogurt ( 2 1/2 Tbsp)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
zest of scant half a lemon

heaped 1/4 c blueberries, fresh or frozen (I used frozen)

handful of toasted almonds, crushed (I pulsed in the coffee grinder)
1-2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp butter, cold
teeny pinch salt

Oven to 350. Butter about 5 muffin wells, filling every other hole.

First, brown the butter. In a small saucepan, melt butter on medium and let if foam, let it go for a few mins, swirling constantly, but watch close and as soon as you see the color become light amber, and little brown flecks at the bottom, remove from heat and pour into a heat-safe cup. Leave to cool while you:

Whisk flours, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. Whisk well, breaking up any clumps of sugar or almond flour, in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl beat the egg, add vanilla, yogurt, zest.

Topping: Grind the almonds so they are lightly crushed but not flour territory, and place into a bowl. Toss with the sugar and salt, and rub butter in evenly with your fingers. Press down to flatten, place in fridge. 

Add cooled brown butter to egg/yogurt mix and mix well. 

Toss half the blueberries into the flour mix, then make a well in the center, add the wet and fold just to combine, don't overmix, add the rest of the berries, and fill each greased tin 3/4 full, mounding tops. 

Take out your struesal, break off little chunks and crumble it over the tops evenly. 

Optionally, fill each unused muffin well with a little water, maybe halfway. Place in oven, bake 20-25 minutes until a tester comes out just clean and the center is just cooked through. Leave to cool in tin 5 mins on a rack, then remove carefully to cool completely on the rack. 

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