These blueberry pecan muffins with crumb topping are easy and even arguably healthy seeing as they boast nuts, fruit, and, if you make the crumbly topping, oats. Most important, though, they’re some of the best we’ve had. Here’s how to make them.
These dense yet delicate blueberry pecan muffins were dubbed “perfect” by our recipe testers. They’re sturdy yet not stodgy, healthy but not ascetic, and satisfying without being too sweet. And they take all of 10 minutes of effort. The crumb topping is optional, so skip it those days when you’re crazy busy. But it’s also quite pleasing, so take an extra few minutes to toss it together those days when you need a little indulgence.
☞ READ THE ARTICLE: MAKING BLUEBERRY MUFFINS IN A TORNADO
The muffins also boast superhero powers able to ward off the impending doom of a tornado. Or at least the impending doom of a long day ahead. Adapted from a recipe in Once Upon a Tart by Frank Mentesana and Jerome Audureau.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Blueberry Pecan Muffins
For the crumb topping (optional)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons pecans finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons rolled oats whole or pulsed in a blender
For the muffins
- 11 tablespoons (5 1/2 oz) unsalted butter melted and cooled to room temperature; plus more for smearing the muffin tins
- 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely ground pecans (they should be finely chopped, like a coarse nut flour; they need to be so small that when you bite into the muffin, you shouldn’t know there are nuts in it)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup cold milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries rinsed and dried
- Coarsely chopped or broken pecans, for sprinkling (optional)
Make the crumb topping (optional)
- In a small bowl, stir together all of the crumb topping ingredients.
Make the muffins
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C) and position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Smear 8 jumbo (we mean oversize in a BIG way) or 24 standard-size muffin pans with butter.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ground pecans, baking powder, and salt.
- In a separate, big bowl, whisk the eggs to break up the yolks. Still whisking with one hand, pour in the sugar with the other. Continue to whisk for a few minutes, until the eggs begin to pale in color. Whisk in the milk, vanilla, and melted butter.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring gently with a wooden spoon. When there is still a little flour visible, gently stir in the blueberries, taking care not to break them up any more than is inevitable.
- Scoop the batter up with a spoon and, using a rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the muffin cups, filling each almost to the top. You may want to wipe any excess topping off the pan so you won’t have to scrub burnt sugar from the tin after baking.
- If using the crumb topping, sprinkle the topping evenly over the muffins. If not using the crumb topping, sprinkle with additional pecans.
Bake and cool the muffins
- Bake the muffins for 35 to 40 minutes if making jumbo muffins or about 20 minutes if making standard muffins, until a toothpick or a small knife inserted deep into the center of a muffin comes out clean. No matter what size your muffins, they ought to have risen above the edge of the muffin tin and the crumb topping or muffin surface should be golden.
- Remove the tin from the oven and place it on a wire rack. Let the muffins sit in the tin for a few minutes until they’re cool enough to touch.
- Fip the tin upside down and let the muffins fall out onto the wire rack. Turn them right side up and try to stop at just one.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
These muffins are quite dense, very moist, and not very sweet—in other words, perfect!
I followed the recipe exactly, using 1 cup of milk. I used my food processor to grind the pecans; just be careful not to let it go too long or you’ll have pecan butter (nothing wrong with that, though!).
I wasn’t sure that there was enough batter to fill 8 large muffin cups, but there was. The topping adds an extra bit of sweetness and is very easy to put together, so I recommend doing that. Surprisingly, if you didn’t know there were nuts in the muffins, you wouldn’t be able to tell by the texture. The muffins were excellent fresh as well as the next day, too.
I would definitely make this recipe again.
This made for a perfectly sturdy and not-too-sweet muffin. That’s exactly how I like muffins, so this recipe worked great for me. (I made Amy’s version of the muffin.) The addition of ground almonds contributes to a nice crumbly texture, but the blueberries ensure that it’s not too dry. The combination of ground almonds and blueberries really works great together, sort of like frangipane and fruit in a nice tart.
These muffins are very delicious and moist for such a dense batter. The pecan flour definitely adds another nutty and sweet dimension and the pecan topping perfectly balances the tartness of the blueberries.
I ground the pecans in the food processor and had some extra, which I think will freeze well. I used a standard 12-cup cupcake pan. The batter made 2 dozen muffins and I baked them in 2 batches, each at 400°F for 20 minutes. I’m going to freeze one batch and see how that works out. I’m also tempted to freeze the batter.
Originally published August 24, 2020