Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Blueberry Muffin Detour

I am not a super-highway sort of person. I take detours. All projects get finished but in a zig-zag way - never in a straight line.

And so it happened that I was prepping the blog for a post on recreating some lovelies from Floriole in Chicago's charming Lincoln Park neighborhood....


A neighborhood thats speaks of a kind, gentle time...


A neighborhood which contains a Cafe/Bakery that is a destination of flavor and taste. Where you throw away all reserve about your waistline and indulge.


That was my intention. The frittata sandwich with cream cheese and smoked trout on a bed of arugula was our first course. But you can figure out the recipe from the description. And do try it - the bursts of the cream cheese with the salty-smokey trout all gift wrapped in eggs and topped with peppery arugula made me want another. 


Even though the asparagus plumply sitting on toast which was generously spread with fresh ricotta was waiting. 

I'm cooking some asparagus now. You can see where that is leading.

While waiting for lunch, we gave in to the charms of perfectly browned canneles nurturing a pillowy custard inside. I don't have a huge sweet tooth but if I did not throw caution to the wind and succumb to the power of sugar once in a while, my sardonic side would be much too powerful.  


When I give in to the enchantment of sugar, I give it my all. I should have brought home a trunk filled with the crisp lime, cornmeal cookies. And a roomful of the peanut butter and jelly ones. I think I've kept my cynical part of my personality in check for awhile. I will need to figure these out. Not being a peanut butter and jelly eater, I was significantly wowed enough to let these cookies melt into my being and was prepared to walk another 12 miles with blistered feet to undo a touch of the damage.

My intention was to recreate those dishes. But then there was this detour. That Skinny Chick Can Bake posted a blueberry-sour cream muffin recipe. So, here I am - a person who doesn't usually bake, hardly ever makes a muffin - a person with an Italian blog and I am finding myself at the computer in a hypnotic trance - nodding and bowing to the monitor and saying, "Yes, I will make these, O Powerful One." And I did. With creme fraiche instead of sour cream. With the last of the frozen berries from last summer.  With my newly-developed sweet tooth courtesy of Chicago.



That Skinny Chick Can Bake's recipe is here. My adjustments are below.

Blueberry Creme Fraiche Muffins - makes 18 muffins
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1-1/4 cup creme fraiche
  • 2 cups blueberries



I wasn't shy with the blueberries. Despite ingredients to the contrary, I like to think of this as a fruit serving.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For ease, use muffin liners. In a large bowl whisk flour, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl whisk your egg. Add sugar and whisk well. Add melted butter - and yes - whisk some more. Add creme fraiche and whisk. And berries to the dry mixture and toss. Gently fold the creme fraiche goodness into the dry. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 25-30 minutes (until toothpick inserted in arbitrary muffin comes out clean). Cool on wire rack. With 7 over for dinner, these last 12 minutes. (I only ate 2.)

Working in a linear fashion has its advantages. You do get things done faster. But when you detour and zig- zag, you find things. Like Mama Duck and her babes leaving your yard to make the perilous one block journey to the pond and eventually the lake.


Or that azaleas must love cold and rain. Because they never have been so magical.

35 comments:

That Girl said...

I like to think of my detours in a Robert Frostian sort of way- they make all the difference.

My Little Space said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jill@MadAboutMacarons said...

This is just lovely, Claudia. Look at the flowers, and look at all the gorgeous blueberries in these muffins. Mother duck and the wee ones following on are just SO CUTE!!

Torviewtoronto said...

delicious looking flavours muffins looks wonderful
Claudia check out the event in my site
http://torviewtoronto.blogspot.com/2011/05/food-palette-series-purple.html

My Little Space said...

What a gorgeous post, Claudia! Sounds like you having such a wonderful neighbourhood. Well, it looks like a great spring time going there. Have a lovely day.
Blessings, Kristy

Beth said...

I would detour anywhere for a muffin. And yes, it most definitely is a serving of fruit.

Pegasuslegend said...

I can always count on you to have a smile after reading the post, the flowers are glorious and the muffins so full of wonderful blueberries I just bought some and was contemplating what to make... will have to try these now you convinced me!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I entirely missed seeing the Lincoln Park neighborhood on my visit to Chicago! Next time I will make sure to visit Floriole for a delicious sandwich, and even though I am dieting i would have also indulged in some of those sweets!

Now your blueberry muffins are calling me, Claudia! Filled with so many large juicy berries they have to be considred part of a healthy diet! I could eat a dozen :)

Chris's Gourmet Fashion said...

Those blueberry muffins look really inviting ... have to keep them in mind when our blueberries come along. As always, I thoroughly enjoyed reading through your post, as I myself was meandering though my work this morning ... yes, I do get side tracked quite easily too :)

Island Vittles said...

With that many blueberries, you better believe that is a serving of fruit! You sound like you had a wonderful time away -- so well deserved!

How do you say muffin in Italian? Theresa

Lizzy said...

Oh, my, you did a fabulous job with these muffins! I used smaller wild blueberries, but I love the look with your bigger juicy ones :) So glad you tried these...and now I'm dreaming of your frittata sandwich! Thanks for the shout out, Claudia~

Kate@Diethood said...

I lived in Lincoln Park for 5 years... I had the best time of my life! :)

I love your blueberry muffins! It's blueberry after blueberry after blueberry... and creme fraiche! YUMMO!

Lori Lynn said...

Hi Claudia - I meant to go to Floriole on my last trip to Chicago after reading David's post, but never made it. On my next trip we'll definitely go, my family lives so close in Roscoe Village!
LL

The Mom Chef said...

I really like what That Girl said in the first comment so I echo her response.

I saw those muffins as well and they drew me in the same way, though I've resisted making them thus far (the fact that blueberries are a little expensive right now helps).

Proud Italian Cook said...

I'm exactly like you Claudia, it dosen't take much to side track me, especially when good food is involved. Glad you enjoyed Floriole, I'm actually going there this weekend after my granddaughter runs her first 5k, shes only 10 so we gotta celebrate, right?

Heather Lynne said...

Those blueberries are huge! The muffins look delicious.

Choices said...

Such a beautiful post. After a nice long walk, you do deserve to get side tracked. Lincoln Park and all the goodies look wonderful.

Pegasuslegend said...

Just stopped by to say the muffins were awesome and they really rose nicely.. a keeper for sure... hope all your readers try these!

Reeni said...

What naughty muffins tempting me to make them when I have blueberries in my fridge! They look dreamy! Hope Mama Duck made it safely to the pond - so cute!

Rebecca from Chow and Chatter said...

another fun post love your style and fab muffins no wonder u made them

Martha (MM) said...

Everything looks so good! I think I've zigged and zagged so much lately that I'm just all tied up in a giant knot, LOL!

tasteofbeirut said...

I would have spent hours in that bakery as well! Love the amount of blueberries you threw in those muffins!

Al Dente Gourmet said...

Hi Claudia, What a beautiful post and recipe! I love muffins and this recipe sounds absolutely mouth-watery :)

Have a great day,

Aldy.

Spicie Foodie said...

Claudia I love your detour. The muffins have so much fruit and that's the way I love them. It sounds like you had a lovely time in Chicago.

Magic of Spice said...

This is quite a detour :) Not that I mind, I get the quest of the lovely sandwich and asparagus toast...plus I get to stare at a gorgeous muffin :) Love all those blueberries bursting through!
Hope you are having a wonderful weekend

Mother Rimmy said...

Lovely muffins. I think many of us take a lot of detours on our way to our ultimate destination. Nice blog post. Love the pictures!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I love the way you write Claudia - it was fun taking the detour with you and reading about your thinking. I have to say, I'd have been hard-pressed to ignore those muffins too. But that frittata sandwich has me really intrigued. The little ducklings are a treasure and so are the gorgeous azaleas.

OysterCulture said...

What fun, it sounds like an amazing culinary experience and I'd be willing to walk/run whatever it took to sample that delicious food.

Emily Malloy said...

Absolutely lovely!

spcookiequeen said...

I can smell those muffins over here at my house. I love the porches on those houses, something we don't enjoy in the suburbs. Thanks for bring me on this detour.
-Gina-

Roz from 'la bella vita' said...

I felt as if I was walking through the Chicago neighborhood with you; such a happy post. I can see thru your photos and the recipe why you felt compelled to bake those luscious blueberry treats! I'm saving this one, Claudia!

5 Star Foodie said...

Those muffins look incredibly delicious with all those blueberries! And must be fantastic texture with creme fraiche!

Angie's Recipes said...

Those muffins look BERRY DELICIOUS!Sour cream must have added extra flavours to those muffins. A couple of muffins, a pot of freshly brewed tea, and a book in hand...life couldn't be better.

Barbara said...

If I ever get to Chicago, Claudia, Floriole will be one of my first stops- your words and photos have convinced me. Those muffins are a must-make and I just love the photo of the duckling family - so sweet!

Dentist West Hollywood said...

Mmm - those muffins look amazing! So did you use the 2 cups called for in the recipe, or is that with your extra added in? :)

@}----Rosie