Recently I found a jewel of a recipe tucked in my mother’s old wooden recipe box. I “borrowed” the whole box a few years back. The recipe was cut from a magazine and glued to a note card. On the recipe was a sticky note from my mom saying, “I used to make these for you and Will all the time when you were little.” The recipe is titled The Perfect Muffin. Like all cutouts of this sort, there is no attribution, so I have no idea who came up with the Perfect Muffin first. But, suffice to say it is now doing its magic for another generation of my family. My kids love them and agree that they are perfect.
They are not sweet, but more like a bread muffin and so they are a great vehicle for butter, honey, jelly or anything else you like. The original recipe called for shortening, but I always prefer butter or lard. There are no bells and whistles here. They are just good. I served them last week with a cranberry and apple curd I whipped up with some spare cranberries and it was wonderful. They take maybe 5 minutes to get into the oven, and 18 minutes to bake. So, it is a versatile bread to make last minute for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Bookmark or print this one, because I’m sure it will be a household favorite. The key, according to the original recipe, is to stir the batter as little as possible. That is why I mix the egg into the milk before adding it to the batter. Stir only until the dry ingredients are uniformly wet and combined. There will be lumps, but that is perfectly okay.
Recipe for Perfect Muffins: (yield 12 muffins)
2 cups sifted all purpose flour (sift, then measure)
¼ cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, room temperature
1 cup milk, room temperature
¼ cup butter or leaf lard, melted
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 12 cup standard muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Sift and measure the flour and place it in a medium bowl. Add the sugar, baking powder and salt, and whisk lightly to combine. In a small glass measuring cup, combine the milk and the egg and whisk the egg into the milk. Add the milk and egg mixture, and then the butter to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. The batter will be lumpy.
3. Using a spoon or a scoop, distribute the batter evenly in the muffin tin. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean and the muffins are golden. Remove the muffins from the oven and turn them out on a baking rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.
You might also like these Fresh Peach & Honey Muffins.