Saturday, June 2, 2012

Kind of blue *

Saturday mornings. Filled with deep kisses and sun rays coming through the bedroom window.

Waking up to the smell of fresh coffee brewing, and crisp, clean air breezing through the open balcony doors.

Calm mornings, filled with shades of blue in the sky and shades of blue on my plate.

Summer is finally upon us and it's bearing gifts in the form of small, round, dark berries. Blueberries rolling on my kitchen counter, every which way. I miss a few and they end up on the floor. I pick them up, swiftly, and give them a rinse. They're okay.

Saturday mornings. Filled with the smell of muffins baking in the oven. Spelt, blueberries, sugar, butter, yoghurt. He can't wait to taste them but he need not wait long. They're almost there.

I have to stop him from eating one; they're too hot. He waits, he's patient. Until he's not anymore. He greedily eats one, I take one too. I can't believe it. Each mouthful is better than the last. They're so incredibly light, so intensely aromatic. Sweet but not overly so with nutty, earthy accents from the spelt—oh how I love spelt. Their crunchy top, thanks to a light sprinkling of demerara sugar, makes me smile and the juicy, sweet blueberries are there, you can taste each and every one.

He looks at me and I can see it in his eyes. He wants another one. I'm afraid they will last no more than a day. That's a good thing.

*Listen to this and dream away... I know I will.

Blueberry and Spelt Muffins
Adapted, ever-so-slightly, from Tender: Volume II

Whenever I see recipes for cakes or muffins that have baking soda, I hesitate to make them. I hate the flavor that it imparts on my sweet creations yet in these little cakes, you can hardly tell there's any in it. Same as in this strawberry cake.

Spelt (Triticum spelta) is really good for you, don't hesitate to use it. Plus, it tastes divine!
In Greece, you can find it sold as dinkel flour in health food stores.

Yield: 12 muffins

60 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125 g caster sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
110 g Greek strained yoghurt 2% fat (I always use Fage Total because I grew up eating it)
125 g whole wheat spelt flour
125 g all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp coarse sea salt
220 g fresh (or frozen) blueberries
Demerara (or turbinado) sugar for sprinkling on top

Special equipment: 12-cup muffin/cupcake pan, 12 paper liners, stand mixer or hand-held mixer, sieve

Place the paper liners in the muffin pan.

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius / 375 Fahrenheit.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl and with a hand-held mixer), beat the butter with the sugar on high speed, until pale in color and creamy.

Add the lightly beaten eggs a little at a time in the butter and sugar mixture and beat well on high speed, until the eggs are fully incorporated and the mixture is fluffy.
Add the vanilla extract and mix, then add the yoghurt and mix on low speed, until incorporated. It won't take more than a few seconds.

Sieve the dry ingredients (flours, baking powder and soda, salt) directly into the butter-sugar-yoghurt mixture, and mix well on medium speed for about 40 seconds, until you have a smooth batter.

Add the blueberries and fold them into the batter using a spatula or spoon, being careful not to break them up.

Note: If you're using frozen blueberries, there's no need to defrost them. Simply add them to the muffin batter.

Using a spoon, or an ice cream scoop which is easier, empty the batter in the muffin pan.
Sprinkle the tops with a little demerara sugar and place the muffin pan on the middle rack of the preheated oven.

Bake the muffins for about 20 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin, comes out clean.

Allow the muffins to cool a bit in the pan and then transfer them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

You can keep them at room temperature, covered, for 2-3 days.


  1. Hi Magda I like it when you come up with fantastic ideas such as "spelt". I don't know what it is, never had it, and would like to find it in Athens. What should I ask for. Got tired searching the Internet. Have a nice Sunday.

  2. I have never baked with spelt flour... don't you think it is about time? Blueberry muffins remind me of chilly summer mornings in Maine, Mew Hampshire and Vermont... their warmth started the days with such happiness. ~ David

  3. Shri — thanks!

    Stelio — hi! I think maybe you should also start following the Greek page of my blog because there I write where certain ingredients can be found in Greece. You can search for spelt flour as dinkel flour. Dinkel is the German term for spelt. It is also called farro in Italian so maybe you can search for it with that term too. I believe you can find it in health food stores in Athens. Have a great Sunday!!

    David — I think it is about time. You're gonna love it! I'm planning on baking my first spelt loaf next week. I'm super excited because I love the spelt bread that I buy from my local bakery. These muffins are a great start for someone who isn't familiar with the taste of spelt. It is kind of an introduction as they don't contain too much of it to be overwhelming yet you can certainly taste it.

  4. In all ways a great post. Wouter and I often listen to Miles in the morning. The perfect music to ease into a day...I do love your muffin recipe as well.

  5. What a dreamy post, and what a romantic Saturday morning. Great looking muffins. I also love spelt. Yum!

  6. How lovely! Your photos are beautiful. I make a similar version on my site( There's really no better way to start a morning than with a batch of freshly baked blueberry muffins!

  7. Teresa, Villy — thank you!

    Nicole — ever since I discovered spelt I just can't get enough of it.

    Kasey — so true; blueberry muffins in the morning are just perfect. Thank you for stopping by. :)

  8. A lovely post and you will get me to try this spelt flour as soon as I can find it here. Love these muffins and the story that came with them.

  9. First batch is already in the oven, yum yum, yum.