Garden Lifestyle

Basil Blueberry Muffins

My basils are growing in leaps and bounds and I've cut them back three times already--so I've been cooking with them daily.

Basil blueberry muffins are delicious made with a little cornmeal for a different twist.
Photo/Illustration: Susan Belsinger


Makes 1 dozen

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 2/3 cup unbleached flour
1/3 cup blue cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 generous cup blueberries
1 cup milk
2 extra large eggs
Generous 1/4 cup minced lemon and cinnamon basil leaves

This is a wonderfully delicious and fragrant muffin; it is sweet like cake. The addition of blue corn is fun and tasty-gives a bit of added texture and the corn is sweet-and I like the double blue emphasis. If you aren’t familiar with blue cornmeal, try it and you will find its earthy taste is good in cornbread, muffins, and blue corn pancakes. You can use yellow or white cornmeal if you don’t have the blue. I like a combination of lemon and cinnamon basil for the fragrance and flavor; the citrus and the spice go well with the blueberries. However, if you don’t have both basils, either one can be used on its own and still make a tasty muffin. This recipe is excerpted from not just desserts-sweet herbal recipes, Susan Belsinger, 2005.

Preheat oven to 400º F. Use a little of the butter melted for the recipe to lightly brush the muffin tin. Set aside the remaining butter to cool.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, sugars, and nutmeg and toss well. Rinse the blueberries, pick over them, and drain well. Put them in a small bowl and toss them with 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture to coat them.

In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork or a whisk, add the milk, and blend well. Stir in the melted butter and minced basil. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to barely combine. Add the blueberries, folding them in gently, until they are just incorporated into the batter. Do not over mix.

Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin tins filling them about two-thirds full. Place in the middle of a hot oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until just golden brown, or a tester comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes or so, loosen with a metal spatula and cool on baking racks or eat them warm.


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