Aunt Alice’s Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry MuffinOne bite of these muffins and I’m transported back in time to my childhood visits with Aunt Alice and Uncle Pat and my cousins at their summer place in Kittery Point, Maine. On those evenings when Alice herself wasn’t cooking up something wonderful, the whole rowdy bunch of us would trek down the road to the Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier.

A dock with picnic tables, Chauncey Creek features almost none of the amenities that might qualify it as a restaurant. There are, however, large tanks full of the day’s catch of succulent local lobsters. You squint into a tank and point a finger at a likely-looking suspect, grab a few bags of potato chips and an ice-cold bottled drink, and then park yourself at one of the picnic tables while the proprietors boil up your nominee and melt down a sinful amount of butter. We’d round out our feast with some of the delicious muffins Aunt Alice had brought from home. Each one boasted an enormous amount of blueberries and—thanks to the high sugar content—a flat and crispy top. We loved them.

Makes 15 muffins

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt

1 cup fresh blueberries, preferably wild

Preheat the oven to 400ºF and butter fifteen 2 1/2- by 1 1/4-inch muffin cups. Beat the butter with the sugar in a large bowl until well blended. Pour in the milk, add the egg, and beat until smooth.

Sift the 1 3/4 cups flour with the baking powder and salt onto a piece of parchment. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix until just moistened. Toss the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour in a large bowl and fold into the batter. Fill the muffin tins halfway with the batter. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then run a thin knife blade around each muffin. Lift slightly on one side and tilt gently to remove from the tin. Cool briefly on a wire rack. Serve warm.

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