Moist and tender gluten free blueberry swirl muffins, with a simple blueberry compote baked right into the top. The perfect muffin!
The moist and tender crumb of these gluten free blueberry swirl muffins is positively bursting with fresh (or frozen!) berries. We gild the lily with a quick and simple homemade blueberry compote swirled right into the top before baking. But the basic batter in these muffins is so perfectly balanced on its own that you can leave out the compote, sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a bit of extra sugar and they’ll still be delicious. If you do decide to skip the blueberry swirl the first time you make these muffins, maybe you’ll be willing to try it the next time. Because I promise you…
…if you make these incredibly tender muffins once, you’ll be sure to make them again and again. Every once in a while, even if I’m making these muffins when blueberries aren’t in season (like right now, in March), I’ll stumble upon a couple of well-priced pints of fresh berries in the market. But if you’re not that lucky, just use frozen berries. Frozen fruit, especially blueberries, is absolutely perfect for baking. The worst thing that happens is that the whole berries folded into the batter bleed their color into the muffin. It doesn’t affect the taste one bit. And of course, for these blueberry swirl muffins, frozen berries are absolutely perfect for making the simple blueberry compote swirled into the top.
A note about the flour: This recipe calls for my basic gum-free gluten free flour blend, plus the addition of 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum to help hold the muffins together and extend their shelf life. I have, of course, tested this recipe with my all purpose gum-containing gluten free flour blend, and found that the blueberry compote was just too difficult to swirl into the batter. If you plan to leave out the swirl, try replacing the gum-free blend 1:1 with a gum-containing all purpose blend and see how you like them. I still prefer the gum-free blend, with the addition of a mere 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum. I’ve also swirled in about 1 teaspoon of blueberry preserves in place of the homemade compote, and although of course it’s sweeter, it’s works beautifully and makes a fabulous muffin, too. Options!
8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (8 fluid ounces) buttermilk, at room temperature
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease or line the wells of a standard 12-cup muffin tin and set the tin aside.
In a small, heavy-bottom saucepan, place 1 cup (150 g) blueberries, 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar and the water, and mix to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently to break up the berries, until the mixture is thickened and reduced, and all the berries are crushed (about 5 minutes). Set the blueberry compote aside to cool.
In a medium-size bowl, place the flour blend, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and whisk to combine well. In a separate, large bowl, place the butter and remaining granulated sugar, and using a handheld mixer, beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat until well-combined. Toss the remaining 1 cup blueberries in about 1 teaspoon of the dry ingredients, and set aside. To the butter mixture, add the remaining dry ingredients in 4 batches and the buttermilk in 3 batches, alternating between the two and beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined after each addition. The batter should be thick but soft. Fold the blueberries and reserved dry ingredients into the batter until they’re evenly distributed throughout, taking care not to break the berries.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared wells of the muffin tin. The wells will be almost completely full. Divide the cooled blueberry compote evenly among the tops of the batter in the wells and swirl it into the top of the batter with a toothpick. Shake the pan back and forth to distribute the batter evenly in the wells.
Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the muffins are puffed and very, very pale golden, firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs attached (about 20 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.