Cornmeal Blueberry Streusel Topped Muffins with Lemon Glaze

by Irvin on March 24, 2010 · 14 comments

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Cornmeal Blueberry Lemon Muffins with Crumb Topping. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

There’s a classic Seinfeld episode where Elaine only eats the top of the muffins and her former boss decides to start a business called Top of the Muffin to You! where he only sells the muffins tops.

The problem was that he only baked the muffin tops with these special muffin top tins and no one wanted to buy them. That’s where Elaine steps in and tells him that he has to bake the whole muffin, then just remove the stumps and sell the tops. Once he starts doing that, the muffin tops starts moving but he’s stuck with all these stumps that no one wants, not the homeless, not the dumpyards, no one. Hilarity ensues of course, because it’s Seinfeld.

I’ll be the first to admit that I love muffin tops. But I’ve had a lot of really boring bland muffin tops in my life. More importantly though, I love muffins in general, and yes, I actually love the stump of the muffins too. For me, the muffin top is a foil to the muffin stump, and I would be utterly dissatisfied if I had one or the other and not both.

I was thinking about muffins when I was at Trader Joe’s and came across blueberries on sale. Blueberries! It’s a little early in the season for blueberries but then it has been unseasonably warm here on the West Coast so…and then I looked a little closer and notice the sticker said “Product of Chile”.


I love blueberries. But there’s no point in me eating imported blueberries from South America. They are sad pale imitation of what blueberries should taste like. No fresh blueberries for me right now. No blueberry muffins on my agenda.

UNTIL I came across the frozen wild blueberries in the frozen food section! Whoo hoo! I wouldn’t necessarily eat frozen blueberries on their own, or make a pie out of them, but I’d totally make muffins out of frozen blueberries and wild blueberries are practically a different species from the cultivated ones. smaller, intensely flavored, so much more flavor packed into a tiny little package.

So I bought a bag and went home with the idea that I’d be baking blueberry muffins for breakfast. This actually solves lots of problems, as AJ, my partner, has repeated told me that I can bake breakfast goods as much as I want as he loves muffins. It’s the desserts that he had problems with. Which is just as well, as I can totally do without spending $6 at the local coffeeshop for a latte and muffin. Those drinks can get pricey and who needs a $2 mediocre muffin that had neither a tasty muffin top or a good muffin stump?

Blueberry muffins. I love a good blueberry muffin, but I wanted something slightly different. Blueberry muffins are so common, what can I do to perk them up a little bit? Why not add some lemon to them? As I’ve stated before, my lemon tree outside is BURSTING with lemons. So many lemons. I need to more recipes that involve lemons. Because there’s only so much hot water with lemon slices that one can drink.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins. It need more. Because I’m not one to just take it up just one notch. I gotta go for broke. Taking a cue from Cook’s Illustrated I decided I would make a wild blueberry jam to put in the middle of the muffin so the stump would be extra moist and bursting with blueberry flavor. And how about adding a little cornmeal to give it a little texture and crunch? Done.

So the stump of the muffin is suitably spruced up. What about the top? I settled on a streusel topping for the muffin. Who doesn’t love a streusel topping? No friend of mine. Hmmm… What else? Oh why not a lemon glaze on top of the streusel topping. Is that sufficiently over the top? Yeah probably.

That’s when I decided to add whole white wheat to it as well, because that sounds freakin’ unhealthy,  streusel topping and lemon glaze. Ridiculous. But Elaine would approve. I know she would. She’d be eating those muffin tops AND stumps all the way to Jerry’s apartment.

Note: Whilst baking, I was listening to Vampire Weekend’s Contra. A rather uneven album compared to their last one, but it’s still good to hear new Vampire Weekend.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Felisa March 29, 2010 at 9:02 pm

I don't know if you can see me, but I am TOTALLY making eyes at your muffins.


Mr. Jackhonky April 3, 2010 at 8:17 am

@Felisa. I can totally see you. And it's kinda creeping me out. I

Also. It's creeping the muffins out. Stop it.


petoke April 6, 2010 at 6:38 pm

That’s genius to put blueberry filling in the stump!! I HATE the stump of the muffin. Can you also put some money in there? That would make the stump's existence slightly more tolerable. But not by much.

I didn't know you had a lemon tree in the backyard. Do you ever make lemon pies? Yum.

Also, do you ever pay money for baked goods? It seems like you wouldn't, since you could go home and whip up something 100 times better.


Mr. Jackhonky April 7, 2010 at 2:06 am

I can't take the credit for the blueberry filling, that was the genius at Cook's Illustrated.

And yes, I make lemon pies. I tend to make lemon chess pie, lemon shaker pie and lemon bars. I don't make lemon meringue that often though (not sure why).

Also I pay for baked goods all the time. Which is sad, because often times they aren't that good. Though I wouldn't say mine are 100 times better….


petoke April 7, 2010 at 3:10 am

I'll you why; it's b/c meringue is slightly gross (and slightly good, but still kind of weird).

what are chess and shaker pies?

So interesting that you buy baked goods, since you've said that you don't even have much appetite for the ones you bake, right? Or am I wrong?


Mr. Jackhonky April 9, 2010 at 7:23 am

@Petoke – Meringue is kinda gross but also kinda good. And in the Thomas Keller Ad Hoc cookbook he makes lemon bars with meringue topping, which I might have to do next time.

Chess pie is a southern pie that is basically a sugar pie. It's really basic, but delicious. I do a version that has lemon and a little bit of cornmeal in it. Which is probably totally blasphemous for a true southerner, but since I'm from Missouri, I'm an erstatz southern so I don't care.

Lemon Shaker Pie is when you slice raw lemons whole and soak them sugar and use them as filling. Basically you are making a lemon marmalade filing. It's delicious. I usually make it into a tart pan as I think it gives a better crust to filling ratio.

Which reminds me, I might have to make that this weekend. I really need to use up these darn lemons.


Rita April 24, 2010 at 11:19 am

@Petoke- What I love about Irvin is that he is not a snooty baker. Me, I will not touch any baked good not baked by Irvin if the genuine article is to be had. But Irvin? He keeps it real.

Granted, he often admits to not being satisfied with a baked good from outside. But that does not keep him from keeping the hope alive, and his heart and mind open.


Anonymous August 19, 2010 at 1:51 am

I made these muffins last night…I gotta tell you…these are the BEST freakin muffins I've ever had!


Mr. Jackhonky August 19, 2010 at 3:45 am

@Rita. Absolutely true. I am so not a snooty baker.

@Anonymous. I'm so glad! Yay!


Jess - Sugar High September 12, 2010 at 4:18 am

Blueberry, Lemon, AND a Streusel? That's a match made in heaven! I have to make these A.S.A.P, I can't resist!


Mr. Jackhonky September 22, 2010 at 5:07 am

@Jess – Let me know what you think when you make them! I loved them, as did AJ.


annette May 17, 2012 at 6:21 am

I just tried your muffins – and they are great! Acutally I am not too good @baking – but your recipe finally let me make good muffins 😉
thank you 🙂


Gentry McColm May 17, 2012 at 8:26 am

Thanks for this. Just found it through Gojee (2 years late!). Just made them last night, turned out well, but my batter was much runnier than yours. Any ideas? Followed the recipe exactly. Thanks.


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