Delia

Blueberry and Pecan American Muffins - Unlive by Lindsey

I love American home cooking, and one of the things I feel Americans are particularly good at is baking (both at home and commercially). The American muffin reigns supreme – not like the British bread version but more like superior fairy cakes and oh so much easier to make and more of a treat. Like many other things in America, they used to come big, but now that calorie counting is here to stay there are mini versions, which means you can make lots of different bite-sized flavours. Although I think minis are more fun, you may want something more substantial, so I've given you a choice.


Makes 20 mini or 6 man-sized muffins

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Summer Collection.

Blueberry and Pecan American Muffins - Unlive by Lindsey
Ingredients
 4 oz (110 g) small blueberries
 2 oz (50 g) pecan nuts, finely chopped
 5 oz (150 g) plain flour
 ½ level tablespoon baking powder
 ¼ level teaspoon salt
 1 large egg
 1½ oz (40 g) caster sugar
 4 fl oz (110 ml) milk
 2 oz (50 g) butter, melted and cooled slightly
 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the topping:
 2 oz (50 g) pecan nuts, finely chopped
 10 demerara sugar cubes, crushed
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).
Equipment

You will also need 2 mini-muffin trays, each cup measuring about 1¾ x ¼ inches (45 x 5 mm), or standard English muffin tins. The muffins can be baked with or without cake papers, which simply help to keep them fresh.

Method

Start off by sifting the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Then, in a separate bowl, mix together the egg, sugar, milk, melted butter and vanilla extract. Now return the dry ingredients to the sieve and sift them straight on to the egg mixture (this double sifting is essential because there won't be much mixing going on).

What you need to do now is take a large spoon and fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones – quickly, in about 15 seconds. Don't be tempted to beat or stir, and don't be alarmed by the rather unattractive, uneven appearance of the mixture: this, in fact, is what will ensure that the muffins stay light.

Now fold the blueberries and pecan nuts into the mixture, again with a minimum of stirring: just a quick folding in. Spoon in just enough mixture to fill each muffin cup (if you're not using papers, grease the tins well), then top with chopped pecans and crushed sugar. Bake on a high shelf of the oven for 20 minutes for minis or 30 minutes for the larger ones or until well risen and brown.

Remove the muffins from the oven and cool in the tins for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack (if they are in paper cases remove them from the tins straightaway).

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