Blueberry Muffins

There was a time when I considered blueberry muffins downed with a large mug of French Roast coffee as breakfast-on-the-run. These days, they are more likely to show up at the slow-paced coffee break in-between meals, and probably better so! This version has a lovely fine crumb, packed with blueberries and finished with a crisp sugary topping. A modest muffin to cheer up a dull and chilly February morning.
A smattering of vinegar, as odd as it may sound, gives the cake an extra lift to compensate for the absence of eggs. Because the vinegar and baking powder react straight away, be sure to drop the batter into the muffin cups immediately so as not to lose any precious air bubbles.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons broken flax seeds
3 tablespoons very hot water
240 ml (1 cup) apple juice
125 g (½ cup) oil
110 g (½ cup) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
70 g (½ cup) frozen blueberries
315 g (2 cups) flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar for sprinkling

Method

  • Combine the broken flax seeds with the hot water, and leave to soak for 5 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 190 °C (375 °F) and grease a muffin tray.
    In a mixing bowl, combine the apple juice, oil, sugar, vanilla extract, vinegar, and salt.
  • Stir in the flax seeds and hot water.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.
  • Using a large, shallow metal spoon or firm spatula, reach into the bottom of the mixing bowl and cut and fold the flour into the wet ingredients until just combined. Turn the bowl after each fold so that the ingredients are evenly distributed. Work quickly and lightly. Alternatively, beat for a few seconds with an electric beater on low speed and finish with a few folds using a spatula, reaching to the bottom of the bowl. The batter will be thinner than usual.
  • Immediately drop equal amounts of batter into the muffin cups and sprinkle the top of each muffin with an even layer of sugar.
  • Bake for 18–20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Take the muffins out of the oven. Wait four minutes, loosen the muffins from the edges of the muffin tray, then remove and cool on a wire rack.

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