Lemon and Blueberry Crumble Muffins“Oh, my goodness… they worked!” Nobody could have been more surprised than me when the first attempt at these Blueberry & Lemon Crumble Muffins worked so well. As a baker who does recipe testing almost constantly, you get used to tipping a percentage of your work into the garbage disposal. I have had my fair share of duds when it comes to testing lemon cakes and muffins, so I didn’t have high hopes on that overcast day. I was already busy making notes on how to ‘make them better next time’ when I checked the oven.

And yet there they were – risen and golden, not slumped and inedible as I had expected. Yay! for miracles. I’ll take a miracle, any day. And a day off, too. Days off are precious, and filled with housework and recipe testing! They have also been few and far between, which is why the blog has been neglected of late. All my recipe testing has been for products to sell, and those recipes are not for sharing. (They’re not called trade secrets for nothing!) But cafes don’t want muffins, and muffins were what I wanted to make.

As a beginner baker, muffins were my first love, and I suspect they always will be. Muffins are pretty much foolproof; you can throw any ingredient at them, and they tend to work. I shouldn’t have been so surprised then, I guess. Using tried and tested recipes also helps! For the base recipe, I used Sweet Little Bluebird’s Crazy Lemon Cake recipe, and tweaked the crumble topping from Smitten Kitchen’s Blueberry Crumb Cake. Quick and easy, fresh and fruity, these lemon and blueberry muffins are just the thing for spring!

Lemon and Blueberry Crumble Muffins

Lemon & Blueberry Crumble Muffins (vegan, GF}
Just the thing for spring, these fresh and fruity muffins are a quick and easy dessert.

Serves 12

2 cups plain (all-purpose) gluten-free flour (e.g. Bob’s Red Mill)
½ cup almond flour (blanched almond meal)
1 teaspoon baking (bicarb) soda
125 g fresh blueberries
1 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 cup non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup vegetable oil

Crumble Topping
½ cup plain (all-purpose) gluten-free flour
¼ cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons crushed walnuts
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
50 g non-dairy margarine
Pinch of salt

Lemon Curd
½ cup lemon juice
¼ cup water
¾ cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
3 tablespoons soy milk
1 tablespoon non-dairy margarine
Pinch saffron or turmeric powder, for colour

If making your own curd, start the day before. Mix lemon juice, water, sugar, and corn starch together. Pour into a heavy saucepan and whisk over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a full boil. Boil for 1 minute, not stirring. It should be thickened and turning clear. Remove from heat and add soy milk and margarine and blend well with the whisk. Cool the curd, then refrigerate in a covered container. It thickens as it cools.

Prepare the topping by mixing the flour, sugar, walnuts, cinnamon and salt, then cutting the margarine in with a pastry blender, fork or your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. If too wet, just add a tablespoon more flour or crushed walnuts. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 200C/400 degrees F. Line 12 muffin tins with muffin papers. Add vinegar to milk and set aside until curdled (about 10 min).

Rub lemon zest into caster sugar, set aside.

Sift flours, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add in almost all the blueberries, and stir to coat. Into the bowl with lemon zest and sugar, add oil, curdled milk and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into the dry, and stir gently until flour streaks are no longer visible.

Divide batter evenly into lined muffin tins, then add ½ teaspoon curd, cover with crumble topping, and press an extra blueberry or two into the crumb.

Bake on middle rack of oven for 5 minutes at 200C/400C, then reduce oven temp to 180C/ 350F and continue cooking for another 20 min. Check with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean. Cool. Enjoy!

Lemon Curd recipe is from Food.com

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