Quick Lemon Balsamic Dressing

I just whipped up a dressing that i really like and want to remember it….

  • Balsamic Vinegar (The “Modena” variety from Trader Joes)
  • Olive Oil
  • Zest of a Lemon

Mix up the vinegar and oil first … more vinegar than oil (because this vinegar has a nice sweetness to it). Zest of 1/2 a lemon. I made this in such a small amount that i didn’t measure anything.

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Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Sugar

Blueberry Muffins ++ the pear and plum

OH baked goods on a rainy day.

The blueberry center.

The lemon zest topping.

(totally ate too many)

Things to know:  The lemon zest topping really put these on the map for me. Totally worth the extra step. The original recipe might be from Cooks Illustrated (the oh so specific steps, odd cooking times and multiple bowls give that away. Looove Cooks) but I got the recipe from my friend so I’m not sure if it matches exactly. Also, I adjusted the sugar. They are plenty sweet with 3/4 cup instead of the 1 1/8 cup the original call for.

++++++This recipe makes 12 muffins+++++

Lemon-Sugar Topping (stir together and set aside)

  • 1/3 Cups sugar (i used way less)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest from 1 lemon

Muffins:

  • 2 Cups Fresh Blueberries [if using frozen, see note below recipe]
  • 3/4 Cups Sugar (plus 1 tsp)
  • 2  1/2 Cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2  1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Table Salt
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) Unsalted Butter, melted & cooled slightly
  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk [see note below recipe]
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Spray standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Bring 1 cup blueberries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing berries with spoon several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to ¼ cup, about 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl.
  5. Whisk remaining 1 1/8 cups sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla until combined.
  6. Using rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and remaining cup blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened. (Batter will be very lumpy with few spots of dry flour; do not over mix.)
  7. Use ice cream scoop or large spoon to divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly). Spoon teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound of batter. Using chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter using figure-eight motion.
  8. Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over muffins.
  9. Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 19 minutes, rotating muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time.
  10. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.

Notes:

+ to use FROZEN BLUEBERRIES: Our preferred brands of frozen blueberries are Wyman’s and Cascadian Farm. Follow recipe, substituting 2 cups frozen berries for fresh. Cook 1 cup berries as directed in step 3. Rinse remaining cup berries under cold water and dry well. In step 4, toss dried berries in flour mixture before adding egg mixture. Proceed with recipe from step 4 as directed.

+If BUTTERMILK is unavailable:  substitute 3/4 cup plain whole-milk or low-fat yogurt thinned with 1/4 cup milk.

+The first time i didn’t do all the cooking blueberry business in step 3 and they were still good but not as good.

+ The next time I did the blueberry center and it was totally worth it.