It’s Monday! We need muffins. We need them jumbo, crunchy with sugared tops and moist with butter. And most of all, we need them filled with luscious Concord grapes!
Have you ever had Concord grapes? They’re dusky little miracles. Only in season from August to October, they’re starting to slip off grocery shelves. But they’re worth seeking out: with thick, tart skins and sweet, almost jellied insides, these grapes give off the most concentrated scent and when baked, release pools of their sweet, musky and wine-like flavors.
So! Are you game for muffins? These are simple as can be. Made with an easy and classic batter of butter, milk, sugar and flour, they bake up soft, springy and with the rustic, craggy muffin tops that I love. They’d be good with any fruits- I’m thinking raspberries- but they’re magical with Concords. The fruits turn into little puddles of jamminess and spread purple veins of color throughout the batter. They retain their slight sourness, which many fruits lose during baking, and they stay moist for days.
Hot out of the oven, they’re something special. Spread them with salted butter, jam, or just eat them plain, but either way, they’re guaranteed to make your Monday, or any day, undeniably better.
Here’s to the beginning of a wonderful week!
Yields: 12 large muffins
Barely adapted from The Crepes of Wrath
Why I love this recipe: tart, juicy and intensely flavorful Concord grapes turn jammy and sweet when enveloped by these fluffy, jumbo muffins with crackly sugared tops. They couldn’t be simpler to make and when paired with salted butter and jam, make an ideal breakfast.
Notes: Concord grapes are seeded, and usually have 2-4 small seeds within each grape. Simply split them in half with a serrated paring knife and use the tip to nudge the seeds out.
Variations: use raspberries in place of the concord grapes. If you’re feeling daring, try substituting another flour- such as spelt or almond- for a small portion of the flour below.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1½ cups concord grapes, halved and seeded
- 1/2 cup turbinado sugar, for topping
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- In the bowl of your mixer, beat together the sugar and cubed butter, until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add in your eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed, then add in the vanilla extract.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together your flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
- Add ⅓ of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture, and beat to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Then add half of your milk, beat to combine, and scrape down the bowl again.
- Add another ⅓ of the flour, mix again, then add the rest of the milk, followed by the rest of the flour.
- Beat until just moistened and scrape down the bowl as needed. Fold in your halved and seeded concord grapes.
- Generously grease one 12 muffin pan. Fill each muffin cup generously with batter, almost to the top, and sprinkle the tops liberally with the turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops are a nice golden brown and the muffins are set. Allow to cool before removing from the pan.
- Serve warm with some salted butter and jam or store in an airtight container, once cooled, at room temperature for up to 3 days. The muffins can also be frozen, in a freezer safe bag or container, for up to 1 month.