Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Meyer Lemon Muffins

When life gives you lemons...

...make lemon muffins.

I had this great plan to make a simple dessert that a friend taught me some years ago involving oranges and alcohol. I knew there were oranges in the fridge, so I grabbed a couple. I cut into one. It was unusually fragrant for an organic orange, so I tasted a piece only to find it was terribly sour. I tried the other one, and it too was very sour. Then it hit me - they were Meyer lemons. I had received some from a recent CSA delivery, but I thought there had only been two lemons, not four. The two I had in front of me were huge, the size of oranges. Their labels only said "organic" and had a number. I just assumed they were oranges.

You know what you get when you assume, right?

So now I had two precious Meyer lemons that I had to use right away. At first I thought to do a riff on Nigella Lawson's flourless clementine cake, but realized it would need far more than two lemons and more eggs than we had in the fridge. I suppose I could have done math and made a much smaller cake (I do have a set of adorable mini springform pans), but math and I have never gotten along. I didn't want make something that required only the juice or only the rind, because it seemed wasteful, and I had recently made a batch of lemon curd. So I consulted the almighty Internet and found the perfect recipe on the LA Times web site: lemon muffins that used every part of the lemon except the seeds.

I imagine this recipe could be used for oranges or limes or regular lemons. There's a whole cup of sugar in them, which takes care of any sourness issues. The end result is moist and very lemony, and really quite delicious. And they freeze like a dream!

Meyer Lemon Muffins (adapted from the LA Times)

2 Meyer lemons
2 cups flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut about 1/3 off of one of the lemons. Cut that small part into 18 tiny wedges. Chop the remaining lemon into pieces and puree them in a blender.

Combine flour, 1 cup of sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.

In another bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, butter, and pureed lemon. Pour into the well of flour/sugar and stir until just combined.

Grease 18 muffin cups and spoon the batter in.

Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and the cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over each muffin. Top with a wedge of reserved lemon.

Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Makes 18 muffins.

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