July is National Blueberry Month! According to the USDA, blueberries are the second most produced berry in the US (second to strawberries). In Wisconsin, there are blueberry farms throughout the state, and many people in our area enjoy buying blueberries from small, local businesses at farmers markets during the summer – or hand-picking their blueberries themselves!
At Sweet Perfections, we use blueberries in our Wild Blueberry Pie. At home, we also enjoy putting them in muffins. The deep color, pop of texture, and sweet-tart flavor is perfect for pastries.
Sometimes, however, the blueberries don’t behave like we hope they would. For example, have you ever put all your hope and effort into making delicious, blueberry muffins, only to find that all the blueberries have sunk to the bottom, creating a layer of mush? Yeah, us, too.
The reason the blueberries sink? Physics. Fat, ripe berries are sometimes more dense than the batter, causing them to sink like a pebble through water.
Here is a trick to avoid this situation in the future: a dash of flour. The flour makes the blueberries stick to the batter, helping them defy gravity and stay put. Toss your blueberries with a tablespoon of flour before folding them into the batter. Very important: use a tablespoon reserved from the total amount of flour called for in the recipe; that will keep your ingredient ratios correct.
One last tip: be gentle when mixing the batter. When batter is overworked, it may turn out thinner than is ideal, making the sinking blueberry problem worse and possibly ruining your muffins. If your batter does seem a bit thin, sprinkle a few of the berries on top just before you put the pan in the oven.
Whether you eat them in our pies, in your muffins, or fresh from the package, we hope you enjoy some blueberries this month!
Fresh from our oven to yours – happy baking!