Corn, tomatoes and blueberries are the big three of summer, the stuff we wait for all year then gorge ourselves silly for several weeks. But August in Maine totally belongs to the wild blueberry. There’s no getting around it. Blueberries are special to Maine, in much the same way lobster is.
Wild Blueberries are naturally occurring (uncultivated) lowbush blueberries. They have been growing in Maine, Quebec and the Maritime Provinces for over 10,000 years. Unlike cultivated blueberries, the wild ones are not planted. They spread naturally and slowly, with careful management. (from www.wildblueberries.com)
There are over 60,000 acres of wild blueberry barrens in Maine. And 99% of the harvest is frozen. So only 1% is available fresh, found at farmers’ markets, side-of-the-road stands and some local grocers.
Here on Mignardise, you can find many ways to bake (and even cook!) with blueberries.
There’s Blueberry Crumb Cake, Blueberry Scones, Blueberry Crumb Bars and a Maine Blueberry Cake. But not a single blueberry muffin. How sad is that? Very, very sad. So today I make up for that surprising omission.
Who doesn’t love a good blueberry muffin? This one isn’t a giant sugar bomb and that’s just one of the things I really like about it The other? It contains Greek yogurt, maple syrup and plenty of bran. If you have it, use whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose for even more fiber and nutrients. I sprinkled a little granola on top too. You can feel good about a muffin like this. So good, in fact, you’ll probably want two. Go ahead. Blueberry season only rolls around once a year.*
Blueberry Bran Muffins adapted from Barefoot Contessa
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher or sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
7 oz. plain Greek yogurt (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (or honey)
2 large eggs, plus one egg white, lightly beaten
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups oat or wheat bran
1 1/2 cups wild blueberries
Preheat the oven to 350. Thoroughly grease a 12 -cup muffin pan or line with paper liners.
Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, mix together the yogurt, sugar, vegetable oil, maple syrup (or honey), eggs and vanilla until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated. Gently stir in bran until thoroughly blended, then add blueberries and mix well.
Scoop the batter into muffin cups, filling almost to the top. Bake for 22-30 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
*It’s ok to use frozen wild blueberries if you want to make these any time of the year. Wyman’s frozen wild blueberries are excellent. No need to thaw before adding them to the batter.