Recipe Image
Carol Kicinski
These gluten-free lemon blueberry muffins are simple, yet impressive.

Gluten-free muffins worth bragging about

Author Byline Image   I know one should not brag and boast; my mother warned me about this when I was growing up. But I must say I make some really great gluten-free blueberry muffins.
   I was invited to brunch at a friend’s house and when I asked what I could bring my friend said “How about those blueberry muffins we have heard so much about?” Ordinarily this would have not been a cause for concern because as I said, I make some pretty darn good blueberry muffins. However, after frantically running to three stores in search of fresh blueberries to no avail, I started to get a bit worried.
   Sure, I could buy frozen blueberries but I am never as happy with the results – the frozen berries seem to put too much liquid into the muffins no matter how well I drain them. I decided to try using freeze-dried blueberries instead. I stirred a packet of freeze-dried blueberries into my muffin batter and crossed all my fingers and toes. The result? Brilliant! The blueberries baked up in the muffins juicy and plump, as if I had used fresh.
   There are a couple
Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Muffins
Makes 12
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup milk, at room temperature
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 ounce freeze-dried blueberries, such as Crunchies
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
   Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a standard muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and line the muffin cups with paper liners.
   Stir the lemon juice into the milk and let set for about 5 minutes. The milk may look a little curdled but this is ok.
   In a small bowl, mix the lemon zest with 1 tablespoon of sugar until fully blended. It is easiest to do this with your fingers as the lemon zest may be moist and tends to clump. Set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
   In the bowl of an electric mixer preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and remaining cup of sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn mixer to low and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each egg is fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl with each addition. Add the vanilla and mix well. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and lemon milk mixture to the creamed butter starting with 1/3 of the flour mixture, then half the lemon milk mixture, half the remaining flour mixture, the rest of the lemon milk mixture and the rest of the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Remove bowl from mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl well with a large spatula. Gently fold in the blueberries. Divide evenly between the prepared muffin cups, filling the cups almost to the top. Top the batter with the lemon zest sugar mixture. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan before removing. Serve warm.
tricks to these muffins – you cream the butter and sugar together as if making cupcakes which results in an a lovely, light texture. Top them with some sugar and lemon zest to give a sweet-tart crunchy top. And let’s be honest, isn’t the top of the
muffin the very best part?
   Fortunately my self-created reputation for great gluten-free blueberry muffins survived intact! I suppose the moral of this story is not to brag and boast, but if you do – you better deliver!