You might have seen that Dwight and I went blueberry picking last weekend, but we went again this Saturday, this time taking Dwight's mom. We brought her once last year, but hadn't realized the ranch had closed for the season. We didn't make the same mistake this year and took her early in the season.
The Blueberry Ranch has about 6 varieties of blueberry fields that come on at different times during the season. We started out picking Spartan berries, large (we're talking nickle- and quarter-size), tartly sweet berries that are apparently very popular. We were there about 40 minutes before they were picked clean. We were some of the lucky ones. If you didn't come early, you were out of luck. I don't know when they opened the Spartan fields for picking, but based I what I heard, it sounded like it might have been only the day or two before. Never underestimate ravenous blueberry pickers!
Here's an average Spartan berry. I picked one that was half again as big, but it's lost somewhere in the massive bag of berries in the fridge. (Is that the berry equivalent of a fish story? "It was THIIIS big, I swear.")
Here's a Duke berry. Regular ole size berry.
Our buckets were only half full by the time the Spartans were gone, so we headed over to the Duke field to pick. These are the variety we picked last week. We picked until the buckets were full, once again leaving with a good 22+ pound of berries in our possession. We couldn't help ourselves. I think we might have a problem.
Quite a difference in size, eh?
So what do you do when you pick upwards of 50 pounds of blueberries in two weeks? Bake blueberry muffins, of course. (And once again bless the fact that you have a standing freezer in the basement to store said berries.)
Blueberry Oat MuffinsAdapted from Mango & Tomato
Makes 12-18 muffins, depending on tin size and how full you fill them. I got 17 muffins from the recipe.
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1-1/2 cups oats (I used old fashioned, but you can use quick-cooking)
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp Penzeys Baking Spice (optional)
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
Zest of one lemon (I used 1/4 tsp Penzeys Lemon Peel)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 heaping cup blueberries plus extra for topping
Flour for dusting berries
1/4 cup oats
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin tin with paper liners. Spray liners with cooking spray.
In medium mixing bowl, combine sugars, oil, egg, milk, vanilla and zest, beating by hand until completely mixed.
In separate bowl, thoroughly combine flour, oats, soda, baking powder, cinnamon and baking spice, if using.
Add dry mixture to wet, mixing just until all the dry mix is incorporated. Let stand 3-4 minutes to rest and thicken slightly.
In the mean time, add a teaspoon or so of flour to the berries, evenly coating all berries. This helps keep them from sinking to the bottom. Be sure to reserve a handful or so of UNFLOURED berries for adding to the tops of the muffins.
Add the floured berries to the muffin mixture folding gently until evenly distributed. Fill lined muffin cups 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full. Add berries to the tops of the muffins as desired. Combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over tops of muffins.
Bake 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven, checking at the half way mark to see if the pans need to be rotated. Remove when toothpick comes out clean. It might have blueberry on it, just make sure it's not doughy.
Remove muffins from tins and allow to cool slightly before eating. Be careful — those berries get HOT!
Enjoy! And yes, those are St. Patrick's Day cupcake liners. They were handy, OK? Plus I hadn't planned on blogging these, but they were so good, I just had to share. Shamrock liners and all.