Blueberry Lemon Streusel Muffins

I know that it’s summer and everyone is making light, calorie conscious desserts.

That said, if I see one more fruit salad masquerading as a decadent brunch, I am going to punch someone in the throat.

So you don’t want a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich this time of year. I get that. But how about showing some summer fruit some love in a muffin-cake hybrid? Using an Ina Garten lemon cake recipe as inspiration, I added some blueberries, reduced the fussy steps, and threw a streusel topping on there. I also used nonfat yogurt instead of full fat and added a little bit of sugar…hey, if you cut out butter, you can add sugar.

It’s the 11th commandment.

30 minutes after I started baking, I was in summer eats heaven. And – lo and behold – I was actually full after eating these for breakfast.

The last person to feel full after eating a fruit salad was an Olsen twin.

Blueberry Lemon Streusel Muffins

Ingredients:

Cake:

1.5 cups flour plus 2 tbsp. reserved

2 tsp. baking powder

1 cup yogurt

1.5 cups sugar

3 eggs

zest and juice of 3 lemons

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 pint blueberries, washed and dried

Streusel:

1.5  cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup cold butter
1/4  cup pecans, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 F and combine all cake ingredients except blueberries and 2 tbsp. flour in a large bowl.

2. Mix reserved flour with blueberries until the berries are coated.

3. Mix the cake ingredients until thoroughly incorporated…

then add the blueberries and fold gently, taking care not to crush any of the berries.

4. Layer the batter into greased or paper-lined muffin tins, and turn your attention to the streusel. If you don’t use liners, be aware that some of your muffins will come out of the tin a little wonky, since the blueberries may adhere to the bottom of the pan.

5. Put all the streusel ingredients except the butter into a clean mixing bowl.

6. Cut the butter into small chunks. It is very important that the butter is cold, so it will create a crunchy, well-formed topping. Some people even run their hands under ice water before handling the butter to keep the mixture cool. Those people aren’t me.

7. Mix the butter into the dry ingredients with your hands until the whole mixture forms into what looks like slightly wet sand.

8. Top the muffins with the streusel, and bake for 17 minutes, or until the sides of the muffin pull away from the edge of the pan or a knife poked into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

9. Let cool briefly and serve.

If you can tell that this is low-fat, you are smarter than me. This is incredibly moist, with the unmistakable clean scent of lemon wafting up through the vanilla cake. The texture is airy and small crumbed, with purple splotches where the blueberries burst and release their sweet-tart juices. The crumbly topping adds a bit of cinnamon spice and crunch to the soft muffins. Though this is great for breakfast, it is also delicious as dessert with vanilla ice cream.

Or even as an accompaniment to fruit salad.