The Smitten Kitchen blogger's easy muffins have a crunchy lid, tons of blueberries, and a tangy flavor

people magazine recipes - 8/17/2020 issue
Credit: Jennifer Causey

Deb Perelman is the beloved blogger behind Smitten Kitchen and the best-selling author of the Smitten Every Day cookbook. In this week's issue of PEOPLE, we asked chefs to submit their favorite recipe for our Best of All Time package. Read why Perelman chose this tried-and-tested breakfast staple, then get the recipe below to make it at home yourself. 

My favorite blueberry muffins are tall, almost equal parts berry and muffin and they're so quick to make, you could be eating them in no time.

I came up with them after trying what seemed like every muffin recipe on earth and feeling pangs of dissatisfaction with each — too cakey, short, sweet, oily, or lacking in berries. I wanted a muffin for people who dream not of plain muffins studded with a judicious amount of blueberries, but a large heap of blueberries tethered gently together with a perfectly sweet, lemony, tangy breakfast cake.

A thick batter ensures that the berries don't sink. Filling your muffin cups nearly to the brim and sprinkling them with coarse sugar creates a towering, crunchy, and bronzed lid on top, perfect for lifting off in a satisfying shell and swiping the underside with salted butter.

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Credit: Winnie Au

Making everything in a single bowl — no butter to soften, no sifting — removes all barriers that would keep you from making these as often as you wish, which is convenient because we want them all the time.

Smitten Kitchen's Blueberry Muffins

¾ cup sour cream or plain whole-milk yogurt

½ cup granulated sugar

5 Tbsp. (2½ oz.) unsalted butter, melted

1½ tsp. grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)

1 large egg

1½ tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. table salt

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1½ cups blueberries

3 Tbsp. turbinado sugar

1. Heat oven to 375°. Line 9 muffin cups of a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

2. Whisk together sour cream, sugar, melted butter, lemon zest and egg until smooth. Whisk in baking powder, baking soda and salt until fully combined. Gently toss together flour and blueberries; lightly fold in flour and blueberries just until blended. Batter will be very thick, like a cookie dough. Divide batter evenly among prepared 9 muffin cups (about ¼ cup batter in each muffin cup). Sprinkle top of each with 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar.

3. Bake until tops are golden and a wooden toothpick inserted into center of muffins comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool muffins in pan 5 minutes; remove to a wire rack, and serve warm, or cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Serves: 9

Active time: 15 minutes

Total time: 1 hour