Saturday, 18 February 2012

Blueberry and Orange Zest Muffins

In high school, I had this English teacher who had a chip on his shoulder about people who would misuse the word 'ironic'. He especially hated that song by Alanis Morissette, you know the one. He said that nothing in that song was actually ironic. Instead of educating me on the proper use of irony he only succeeded in making me unsure every time I call something ironic. For this reason I will let you be the judge of whether the following situation is ironic or not.

In my last post I gushed over memories. How vivid my memory is and how I enjoy exploring and lingering over forgotten memories. Is it not ironic then or at least bizarre that this Monday night I fell while snowboarding, hit my head, and barely remember a thing that happened between 7 and 11 pm that night? I was taken to the hospital and tested for serious damage, luckily a moderate concussion was my only notable injury.  A CT scan and a neck X-ray assured me that I had not sustained any permanent damage.

Alarmingly though, the memories directly proceeding and hours following my fall are completely gone. Even the entire day before I fell is fuzzy. It was my first full day at my new job. Unfortunately I remember that day as if it were spent in a drunken stupor.

Even more unnerving is that the muffins I made the night before, I can barely remember putting them together. Although the more that I think about them, the more that comes back to me. Luckily, that same night I had taken a trip to the bookstore to pick up a Moleskin notebook specially designed for recipe recording so I know exactly how I made these muffins. Also, I know that Mike ate them all so they must have been edible. I even wrote down the recipe that I adapted these muffins from which is amazing because this is something for which I usually just rely on my memory. And before looking at my notebook I had no idea from where I had adapted this recipe.

I do remember that from the original recipe I substituted in rye flour for some of the all purpose flour and orange zest for lemon zest. I remember the orange zest being a good call and I remember the rye flour adding a hefty quality to the muffins. I also remember now that the reason I made these muffins is because I had bought some organic cream that I wanted to use for baking. I had no idea what to expect. These muffins did not turn out light and fluffy but instead were moist, had a nice chew to them and an almost crunchy exterior

In case you are wondering, I am almost fully recovered from my concussion. I do get tired really quickly and lay down a lot. I have not had the mental strength to even think of writing a post until today. I have not bought groceries or cooked a serious meal all week. But I did get a new copy of Bon Appetit in the mail yesterday and I am excited to try a few of the recipes. It might take me awhile to get back in the swing of things but I am sure I will be cooking up a storm in no time.

Blueberry and Orange Zest Muffins
Adapted from Tartelette - Blueberry Muffins
Makes 12-14 muffins

2 cups organic all purpose flour
3/4 cup organic rye flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large free-range eggs
3/4 cups half-and-half cream*
Zest of one navel orange
1 cup or more frozen blueberries

1 - Preheat oven to 350F with pizza stone on bottom 1/3 of oven.
2 - Mix together flours, baking powder, and salt.
3 - Beat together butter, sugar and eggs until smooth.
4 - Whisk cream into butter mixture.
5 - Stir orange zest and blueberries into the flour.
6 - Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the wet ingredients.
7 - Stir in, until just combined.
8 - Spoon about 1/4 - 1/3 cup of batter into a greased muffin pan or just about to the top.
*Note: My batter was not liquidy here, it held its shape so I was spooning balls of batter into the pan. You may try increasing the amount of cream or adding milk to make it more batter-like if you prefer.
9 - Bake muffins about 25 or 30 minutes - rotating pan once or twice during the baking time to cook evenly.
10 - Remove pan from oven when muffins are lightly browned.
11 - Remove muffins from pan to cool.

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