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Blueberry Muffins with crumb topping

  • July 28, 2021

I’ve made many blueberry muffins in my day, but I have to say, these are the best I’ve ever eaten, hands down. Maybe it’s because of the addition of almond extract, or maybe it’s because they use butter instead of oil. Or maybe it’s because I added a crumb topping to the recipe that’s so irresistible I plan to double it next time I bake it. For all these reasons, you have to make these muffins. The basic recipe is from a website called “Once Upon A Chef” and for once, the batter filled all twelve muffin cups, something that rarely happens with so many muffin recipes. So go get some blueberries while they’re still in season, and make these muffins. If you like, you can slather these with butter while they’re warm for even more deliciousness (my husband is a butter fiend), but honestly, they’re so good even without a pat of butter, you’ll be tempted to eat more than you should.

Congratulations to the winner of the giveaway of wonderful products from Limone Market from my last post: Frank from “Memorie di Angelina,” chosen by a computer random number generator.  Thanks to everyone who participated and left comments on both the blog and my Instagram page.

Click here to connect with me on Instagram and find out what’s cooking in Ciao Chow Linda’s kitchen each day (and more)

Blueberry Muffins
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup milk, or more as needed
  • 2¼ cups fresh blueberries
  • turbinado sugar, optional
  • CRUMB TOPPING: (I recommend doubling the crumb topping for even more joy.)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • scant ½ cup flour
  2. In a medium bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon, salt and melted butter.
  3. Whisk until combined.
  4. Add flour, and stir until the flour is combined.
  5. Set Aside.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place oven rack in the middle position..
  8. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  9. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  10. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar for about 2 minutes.
  11. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating well after each addition.
  12. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts.
  13. The batter may look a little grainy and that's ok.
  14. Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, beating on low speed to combine.
  15. The batter will be very thick.
  16. Add the blueberries to the batter and fold gently with a spatula until evenly distributed.
  17. Do not overmix.
  18. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin (an ice-cream scoop with a wire scraper works well here).
  19. They will be very full.
  20. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar evenly on top of the muffins, or scatter the crumb topping over the tops of each muffin.
  21. Bake for about 30 minutes, until lightly golden.
  22. Let the muffins cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.
  23. (But they taste so good when they're warm!)
  24. Run a knife around the edge of each muffin to free it from the pan if necessary (the blueberries can stick), then transfer the muffins to a rack to cool completely.

Blueberry Tart

  • July 20, 2020

We’re in full blueberry season here in New Jersey and one of the most delicious ways to highlight this fruit is to give it a starring role in a tart. This one raises the bar even higher with an oatmeal crumb topping. I used an 8″ tart pan, since it was just for the two of us. But if you want to bake it in a standard 9″ tart pan, just increase the amounts as I’ve written in the recipe. Don’t forget to add the lemon juice and lemon zest. Without it, the blueberries just don’t have that “zing” that the citrus adds.

You’ll get four servings from this small tart pan and I guarantee you it won’t last long.

Click here to connect with me on Instagram and find out what Ciao Chow Linda is up to in the kitchen (and other places too) each day.

Blueberry Tart
  • FOR THE PASTRY (This makes enough for two 9" tart shells. I place the extra one in the freezer):
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 1 small lemon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine salt
  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into dice
  • 2 large eggs
  • FOR THE FILLING - amounts are for an 8" tart. Measurements for a 9" tart are in parentheses:
  • 3 cups blueberries (4 cups)
  • ¼ cup white sugar (1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch or flour (1/4 cup)
  • grated zest of a lemon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • FOR THE TOPPING: amounts are for an 8" tart. Measurements for a 9" tart are in parentheses:
  • ½ cups old-fashioned oats (3/4 cup)
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar (1/2 cup)
  • ¼ cup flour (1/3 cup)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon (3/4 tsp.)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (6 tablespoons)
  1. In a food processor, combine the flour, granulated sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt and pulse to mix.
  2. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly.
  3. Add the eggs and process just until the dough comes together.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, divide it in half, and pat it into two disks.
  5. Wrap one half in plastic wrap and freeze for another use.
  6. Wrap the second piece and refrigerate it for 1 hour.
  7. Remove the pastry disk from the refrigerator.
  8. On a lightly floured surface, roll the disk into a 12-inch circle.
  9. Carefully transfer the dough to a 10-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom.
  10. Gently press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
  11. Trim the overhang.
  12. Refrigerate for 1 hour (or up to overnight).
  13. Preheat the oven to 475° F.
  14. Remove the tart shell from the refrigerator.
  15. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork.
  16. Bake until the edges are just beginning to turn golden, about 10 minutes.
  17. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Leave the oven on but reduce the temperature to 350 degrees.
  18. Mix the blueberries with the lemon zest, sugar, flour and lemon juice.
  19. In a separate bowl, mix the oatmeal with the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter.
  20. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, blend everything together until it's crumbly.
  21. Gelntly place the blueberries into the pastry shell and top with the crumb mixture.
  22. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.


Crumb-topped Pumpkin Muffins

  • November 20, 2019

Fall is the season for squash of all kinds – pumpkins, butternut, acorn and many other types, and I love them all. Sometimes there can be too much of a good thing however. After making the stuffed pumpkin from my previous post, we finished all the stuffing and some of the pumpkin flesh, but after three days, we were still left with a lot and were bored with eating buttered pumpkin again. Rather than continue to eat it all as a vegetable, I took some of it and whirred it in the food processor to use in these muffins.

I found the recipe on the internet from a website called Celebrating Sweets, and let me tell you, the muffin part was delicious and a great way to use up some of the leftover pumpkin, but that crumb topping — oh my. It just took the muffins to a new level. I think I’m going to keep cooking up more pumpkins just to have the leftover for these muffins. Or maybe I’ll just buy a can of pureed pumpkin instead and make it easy on myself. I may pour the batter into a cake tin and make this as a cake next time.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Click here to connect with me on Instagram and find out what Ciao Chow Linda is up to in the kitchen (and other places too.)

Crumb-topped Pumpkin Muffins
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • scant ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour see note
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup canola, vegetable or melted coconut oil
  • 1¼ cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon icing:
  • 5 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons milk more, if needed
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  2. In a medium bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon, salt, and melted butter.
  3. Whisk until combined.
  4. Add flour, and stir until the flour is combined.
  5. Set aside.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  8. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin, or line with paper liners.
  9. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon/spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  10. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, brown sugar, oil, pumpkin puree and vanilla, until combined.
  11. Add flour mixture, and stir until combined (I use a rubber spatula), being careful not to over-mix.
  12. Divide the batter between 12 muffin cups.
  13. Pinch off small pieces of the crumb topping and scatter them over the tops of each muffin.
  14. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.
  15. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan and place on the rack to cool completely.
  17. Whisk all ingredients until smooth.
  18. Adjust the consistency by adding more powdered sugar (to thicken) or more milk (to thin). Use a small spoon to drizzle icing over the tops of the cooled muffins.

Finally – A Ricotta Pound Cake that works – with blueberries and a crumb topping too!

  • August 1, 2013

 Have you ever tried a recipe two or even three times, following it to the letter, only having it flop for no discernible reason? It happened to me when I made a ricotta poundcake that other bloggers raved about. I respect the author of the recipe and love her other recipes, but her ricotta pound cake never worked for me, no matter how meticulous I was in following the recipe. So when I looked for a recipe to accommodate the blueberries and ricotta in my refrigerator, I approached this one with trepidation.

Still, I dove in, taking a few precautions, just as I had done with the prior ricotta pound cake recipe. For example, I made sure all the ingredients – eggs, ricotta, butter, blueberries, were at room temperature. I drained the ricotta for a few hours to decrease the water in the cake.
Throwing caution to the wind, I decided to change the recipe a bit and add a crumb topping. OK, this could ruin the cake I thought, but when I saw how thick the batter was, I knew the crumbs wouldn’t sink to the bottom. And they didn’t. They remained on top, baking to a golden crunchy crispness.
The cake itself has a tender, buttery crumb and just a hint of lemon. I might increase the lemon zest next time just a bit. But even without more lemon zest, it’s just about perfect.

This is definitely a recipe worth keeping — and a cake worth baking over and over again – with or without the blueberries. I think my search for a good ricotta pound cake has finally ended.

Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Cake
Adapted from Simply
my notes in red
printable recipe here

1 3/4 cups (250 g) all purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup (8 ounces, 230 g) ricotta cheese
(I used 1/2 of a 1 lb. container. After I drained it for several hours, half of the container weighed only about 7 ounces)
1 1/2 cups sugar (300 g)
3 large eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1 T. lemon zest
1 cup blueberries (5 ounces, 140 g)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. (160 degrees C). Prepare a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, smearing the inside with butter. In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

2 Use an electric mixer (you can mix by hand but will get better results if you use an electric mixer) to beat together the butter, ricotta, and sugar, on high speed, for 3 minutes, until pale and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on medium speed for one minute after each addition. Mix in the lemon zest and vanilla extract. Don’t worry if the batter looks a little curdled at this point. It isn’t curdled, it just looks that way.
3 Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the dry ingredients in 3 or 4 additions, until just incorporated. Do not over mix. Stir in the blueberries.
4 Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing out the top with a rubber spatula.
Optional: Cover with the crumb topping.
 Place on a baking sheet on the middle oven rack of the oven. (This will help moderate the temperature at the bottom of the pan.) Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, (I baked it for 1 hr. 20 minutes) or until a toothpick comes out clean. For the last 10 minutes of baking you may want to put a sheet of aluminum foil over the top of the pan to keep it from browning further.
5 Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes in the pan. Then run a dull knife around the edge of the cake to make sure it is separated from the pan. Gently remove the cake from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. Let cook completely before slicing.Crumb Topping (optional):
1/8 c. white sugar
1/8 c. light brown sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1/2 stick butter, melted
3/4 cup – 1 cup flour

Melt the butter. Mix the sugars and spices and add the melted butter. Then stir in the flour. It should be damp and lumpy enough to form clumps.

Yield: Serves 10 to 12.