Everyone loves a good muffin, and they're usually not that hard to make. There are a few basic rules to give you a consistently perfect muffin. The most important one is not to overmix your batter. Unlike bread, where you want the gluten to develop, in muffins, you do not, as this will result in a tough and rubbery end product. Mix your wet and dry ingredients together until just combined — lumps are good! Second, to take your muffin from good to great, don’t skimp on your add-ins. You want enough so that you get some in every bite! Some great add-ins include fruit, nuts, chocolate, jams, nut butters, etc.
Strawberry Crumb Muffins
YIELDS 12–14 LARGE MUFFINS
- 3 cups flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp salt
- ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp oil
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 1 large egg + 2 large egg yolks
- 1 cup whole milk or pareve milk
- 1½ cups chopped strawberries,tossed with 2 Tbsp flour
- ½ cup sugar
- ¾ cup flour
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 6 Tbsp butter or margarine,chilled and cubed
- freeze-dried strawberries,finely crushed (optional, adds pretty pink color and a pop of flavor)
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Combine all topping ingredients in a bowl and crumble with a fork. Mix until you have pea-sized crumbs. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. In a second bowl, whisk together oil, sugar, eggs, and milk.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquids. Mix together with a spatula until incorporated. Do not overmix. Gently fold in fruit, being careful not to break it up. Scoop muffin batter into the prepared muffin pan, and top each muffin with 2 Tbsp of crumbs. Increase oven temperature to 400°F (200°C) and bake muffins for 20–22 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy!
Preheat your oven slightly lower than the baking temperature, then up the temperature when you put the muffins in.
When using fruit for add-ins, always toss them with a couple of tablespoons of flour so they don’t sink to the bottom.
Muffins freeze beautifully. Be sure to cool them fully and wrap them well before freezing.
Use a large scoop to portion out your batter. If all the muffins are the same size, they’ll bake more evenly.
For fruit muffins, cool upside down on a dish towel so you don’t end up with soggy bottoms. You can substitute frozen fruit for the fresh fruit, but be sure not to defrost the fruit — and don’t skip the flour toss.
(Originally featured in FamilyTable, Issue 670)
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