I've heard about French women who whip up culinary masterpieces in disproportionately small apartment kitchens. I've always wondered how they do it.
Today I found out.
Do you remember when I was sick with the unending flu this past fall? Well, I never got better. In fact, I got worse. It turns out that our house was making us sick. Literally.
We've had to vacate the property and are now in the process of finding a new home. Fortunately, our health is much improved but in the meantime we're renting a local hotel suite and the kitchen barely fits a sink, a small freezer and a 2 foot by 3 foot oven...just enough room for a muffin pan.
Of course, before we left, I insisted on packing baking supplies. At the time, I didn't realize I was setting up my own daring baker's challenge.
With about a 1 foot of prep area I painstakingly shuffled the necessary ingredients to make Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins. It was definitely worth the effort.
If you're not from New England, Jordan Marsh was an iconic department store...alive in the heyday when department stores had restaurants, bakeries ... and blueberry muffins. This recipe became famous in the region and it is must have recipe for your collection. I've adapted it by adding more leavening and replacing the milk with yogurt for richer and fluffier texture.
Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. blueberries, fresh or defrosted frozen
1 tbs. flour
3 tbs. sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Line muffin tin with paper liner and grease rims with butter (batter may overflow)
Cream butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition
Stir in vanilla
Sift dry ingredients and add alternately with yogurt
Mash 1/2 cup blueberries and mix in
Toss remaining blueberries with 1 tbs. flour and fold in by hand
Fill muffin cups to top
Bake 20-25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean
Cool for 30 minutes
Note: Of course this is all much more fun when you're oven doesn't indicate that it's preheated and lacks a timer.
So there you have it. Granted, it's not a french culinary masterpiece but I learned that it is possible to make delicious baked goods in a tiny, tiny kitchen.