It's not too often you are offered a blackberry muffin. Blackberries are plentiful right now. I know …so are blueberries. But, this switches it up a bit. Especially with the addition of lemon and thyme. And, if you must, feel free to substitute those blackberries with the ever popular blueberries. Hmmm ...maybe a combination of the two?
The original recipe was published in a 2012 issue of Bon Appétit featuring these appetizing works of art created by Elizabeth Belkind of Cake Monkey in Los Angeles. She used the most amazing decorative paper molds that are available at kitchen or restaurant supply outlets. Whatever you choose to use at home, the recipe will work. Just modify the amount of batter and topping to be used for each muffin, along with the baking time.
—rosemary | a hint of rosemary
8 large or 16 standard muffins
chopped fresh thyme
chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" cubes
large egg yolk
plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (separated)
unsalted butter, at room temperature
finely grated lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)
Whisk first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl until well combined. Add butter cubes. Using your fingertips, rub in butter until pea-size lumps form.
Add egg yolk; stir to evenly distribute and form moist clumps. Crumble should resemble a mixture of pebbles and sand.
Chill for at least 1 hour.
NOTE: Can be made up to 3 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.
Preheat oven to 325°F. If making large muffins, line baking sheet with parchment paper then place empty muffin molds to be filled on the sheet. If making standard-size muffins, line 16 1/3-cup molds with paper liners.
Whisk to combine 1 cup all-purpose flour and next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and continue to beat until well incorporated, 2–3 minutes longer. Whisk eggs and vanilla in a small bowl to blend; gradually beat into butter mixture. Continue beating until light and fluffy, 3–4 minutes. Combine buttermilk and lemon zest in a small bowl; gradually beat into butter mixture. Add dry ingredients; beat just to blend (do not overmix).
Toss blackberries and thyme with 2 tablespoons reserved flour in another small bowl; fold into batter, gently crushing berries slightly to release some juices.
Spoon about 2/3 cup batter into large paper muffin molds, or divide between prepared muffin pans. Top each large muffin with 2 tablespoons crumble or each small muffin with 1 rounded tablespoon crumble.
Bake until tops are golden brown and a tester comes out clean when inserted into center, about 50 minutes for large muffins and 40 minutes for standard-size muffins. Let cool in pan at least 20 minutes, then transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Store cooled muffins in an airtight container at room temperature. Best if enjoyed within one day.