In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the sugar and lemon zest and run the machine on low for 1 minute. Take a big whiff, it smells delicious. With the mixer on low slowly stream in the olive oil. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure the first is well blended before adding in the second. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is well blended. Add in the sour cream and run the mixer on low for 1 minute or until well blended. With the machine on low, stream in the milk and almond extract and run the machine for 1 minute more. Again scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is well blended.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and stir until just barely blended. Let sit for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375F (190C) and place a rack in the top 1/3 of the oven, at least 6-inches from the heat source. Line every other muffin well with a muffin liner. To make the garnish, in a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar with the lemon zest and massage them together. Set aside.
Fold the blueberries into the muffin batter and then fill every other muffin liner at least 3/4 full. Sprinkle the lemon sugar evenly over the tops; about 1 teaspoon of lemon sugar per muffin. Fill the empty muffin wells with hot tap water about 1/2 full. Be careful transferring the tray to the oven, you don’t want to splash water into the muffins.
Bake for 20-23 minutes in the top third of the oven or until a toothpick comes out clean and/or they bounce back when gently pressed in the center. For best results, bake one tin at a time. Let cool in the muffin tin for about 10ish minutes, then use a butter knife to help get them out to finish cooling on a rack.