Blueberries are Back!


I might have a blueberry addiction.

This past week marked the first appearance of reasonably-priced blueberries in my local supermarket.  They were actually on special – 2 pints for $5.  They had a pretty good flavor, certainly better than the tiny berries from South America that you can get over the winter for an exorbitant sum.

These berries were a good size and had a nice overall flavor.  None were too tart.  They are coming from Florida and Georgia now, which means it won’t be too long until they are local to the Mid-Atlantic region.  I can’t wait!

I am ready to bake pies, muffins, scones, cobbler, and ooohh how I love blueberry crumb cake!

Here’s a great list of blueberry festivals up and down the East Coast, timed to correspond with the local blueberry season.  A few festivals have already occurred.

Time for some berry eating!


Oops! Cornmeal Confusion

I was expecting guests last week and decided to make a Southern Living recipe that I cut from a back issue for Blackberry Cornbread Muffins.  I thought they’d make a tasty accompaniment to omelettes for brunch.

Oh white self-rising corn meal! Where were you when I needed you?

Now, I’m not from the South, and didn’t grown up making cornbread from scratch (if we ever made it, we used the Jiffy mix) so I am not familiar with corn meal, corn flour, etc.

The recipe called for 2 cups of self-rising white cornmeal.  We couldn’t find self-rising, so we looked up a substitution – adding baking powder and salt yourself.  No big deal, I thought.

We also couldn’t find white cornmeal, so we bought yellow.  Oops!  I didn’t bother to research the difference, thinking maybe it was like white v. yellow cheddar.  Same consistency, just a slightly different taste.

So I went ahead with the yellow cornmeal, adding the 1 ½ tsp baking powder and ½ tsp salt that makes it self-rising.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t serve the muffins.  They were too gritty and heavy.  They lacked any sort of fluffiness that you’d expect from a muffin.  Aside from the cornmeal confusion, they also weren’t sweet.  The sugar didn’t overcome the natural tartness of the blackberries.  Needless to say, they didn’t get their picture taken!

I’ve now done a fair bit of reading about cornmeal, and I won’t make that mistake again!

The Amazing Blueberry Puffin Muffin (TM)

Part moist blueberry muffin, part flaky puff pastry – the Blueberry Puffin Muffin is an absolutely delicious breakfast treat.  The only place I know of where you can buy this muffin is the Lewes Bake Shoppe and Notting Hill Coffee Roastery in Lewes, Delaware.  They’ve trademarked this scrumptious muffin, which is drizzled with just a hint of glaze.

The duality of this muffin – pastry outside, muffin inside – means that there are as many ways to eat it as Oreos have.  My preferred method is to peel the puff pastry off carefully and eat it first, before the muffin.  My friends like to eat it all together, combining pastry and muffin in one bite.  You could also just pull the four pastry corners off and eat those first, thus making your puffin muffin round rather than square-ish.

I’ve noticed that the puff pastry seems to keep the muffin more moist than it would be otherwise.  Thus, the Puffin Muffin has a longer shelf life than you might expect, though they never last long around me!

So far, I haven’t found Puffin Muffins anywhere else – they are a special treat that I look forward to when vacationing at the Delaware beaches.  An Internet search shows a “puffin” to be more of a pancake/muffin hybrid.  I must admit that I’ve never tried to make these myself, since I am not a big fan of working with puff pastry.  I don’t think they’d taste as good as the Lewes Bake Shoppe can make them!

Have you seen a similar muffin anywhere else in your travels?  Or have you tried to make them?  If so, please leave me a comment.  I’d love to hear from other Puffin Muffin lovers out there!