Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
I’ve been reading about Meyer Lemons for months now but never could find any at my local grocery store. Every single Tuesday, I would scour the produce section with high hopes of spotting these special lemons, and every single Tuesday, I would pout a little as I moved on with the rest of my shopping, Meyer Lemon-less. Everyone else was able to find them, why not me? Well last Tuesday, my persistence paid off, and I snagged a bag of Meyer Lemons. Meyer Lemons are slightly sweeter than regular lemons and more orange in color. Since it took me so long to actually get my hands on some of these beauties, it took me almost all week to decide what to make with them. I’m not a huge fan of lemony baked goods. (Then why the search for the Meyer lemons, you ask? Well, the fact that I couldn’t find them them only made me want them more….). I narrowed down a few recipes and let The Picky Apple decide. He wanted lemon poppy seed muffins. I opted to go with Dorie Greenspan’s recipe. Yes, I know, my blog is quickly becoming a shrine to Dorie, what with the Perfect Party Cake and Allspice Crumb Muffins I’ve posted recently. And there’ll be more recipes from her soon, since I’m now a part of Tuesdays With Dorie. They’re that good though, so if you had to buy one baking book right now, it should be Dorie’s. You won’t be sorry. I certainly wasn’t sorry I used my Meyer Lemons in her recipe. They turned out great, and I don’t even like lemon poppy seed. The icing on top really makes them standout, so don’t even think about skipping it, as I almost did. My one teeny tiny complaint about the recipe was that it called for the zest and juice of one lemon. I’ve voiced this complaint before–I never know quite how much to use. The Meyer Lemons were small, so I used two of them. I probably could have added a little more, but the lemon-y icing solved that problem somewhat. I sent them off to work this morning with The Picky Apple, and I’ve already received some good reviews.
Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan
Makes 12 Muffins
For the Muffins:
- 2/3 cup sugar
- Grated zest and juice of 2 Meyer Lemons
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sour cream (Picky Apple Note: I was running low on sour cream, so I used 1/4 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup low fat plain yogurt)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
For the Icing:
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups. Alternatively, use a silicone muffin pan, which needs neither greasing nor paper cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.
In a large bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and the fragrance of lemon strong. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and melted buter together until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough– a few lumps are better than overmixing the batter. Stir in the poppy seeds. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold. Cool the muffins completely on the rack before icing them.
To make the icing: Put the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl and add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Stir with a spoon to moisten the sugar, then add enough lemon juice, a dribble at a time, to get an icing that is then enough to drizzle from the tip of the spoon. You can then drizzle lines of icing over the tops of the muffins or coat the tops entirely, the btter to get an extra zap of lemon.