These are the muffins I mentioned last week in the post about Rich’s birthday celebrations. We are suckers for anything almond, and if you throw blueberries in the mix, we can’t ask for anything more (well, chocolate, but that is a whole other category). The first almond blueberry muffins we had were from Pint Size Bakery and they were like no other muffins I have ever had. They were the lightest, moistest cake I have ever eaten, perfumed with almond and dotted with berries. I should have asked how they made them, but they were super busy the day we were there, and I haven’t taken the time to contact them to ask.
I did a quick internet search and found a recipe for Blueberry Almond Muffins from Odense Almond Paste. And we happened to have a package of the paste, so I tried them, with a few adjustments. They were supposed to have lemon zest, which I replaced with vanilla extract. I wanted the focus to be on the almond, and it was. They turned out moist and tall, with a definite almond flavor and that close-grained yet rich texture that only almond paste can impart. While they weren’t really the same as the bakery muffins, they were a new twist on blueberry muffins that we will definitely be making again.
You will probably have to buy almond paste to make these, but the rest of the ingredients are pretty standard. I used frozen blueberries since blueberry season is long past. Blueberries are one fruit that I almost always have in the freezer, since it is so easy to throw some into a smoothie, pancakes or muffins on a whim. Next time I will sprinkle a little sugar on top of the muffins before they go into the oven.
As an aside, I only have the picture Rich took with his phone before he ate his muffin. We ate the batch over a few days, but didn’t ever stop to take another picture. That is how good they were. Our waistlines and cholesterol levels can’t take too many treats; so more pictures will have to wait until we have the dietary leeway to make these again.
Blueberry Almond Muffins
From Odense Almond Paste
Makes 12 muffins
2 cups flour
½ cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 (7 oz.) package almond paste, grated on a box grater
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
¾ cup milk (I used skim)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
Sugar (granulated, coarse or demerara), optional
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in grated almond paste and butter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
In a separate bowl, beat the milk, eggs and vanilla until well mixed. Stir into the flour mixture gently. When just a few streaks of flour remain, add the blueberries and stir gently.
Spoon into muffin cups – the cups will be almost full of batter. Sprinkle tops sugar, if desired.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until tops are rounded and muffins are golden brown on top. A toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin will come out clean when the muffins are done.
Remove muffins from pan to cool on a rack. Serve warm or room temperature. Muffins keep for several days in an airtight container. Freeze for longer storage.