Musical pairing –How Sweet It Is, Joan Osborne
A teeny bit bummed to learn that ‘Tuesdays With Dorie’ isn’t taking new members; however, the good news is that I’ll still be baking some of the recipes from that book and sharing them with you here at Smith Bites – YAY!! I’m still holding out that I’ll get to meet Dorie someday, but for now, I’m moving on to one of my fav-oh-rite muffin recipes ever!
Meyer Lemons have certainly made the rounds on food blogs lately: scones, margaritas, lemon bars . . . so I scoured my usual grocery haunts and finally, SCORE!! They have a wonderful tartness with an ever-so-slight nod to the tangerine and are more accessible in other parts of the country than they are here in the Midwest – we, I tend to get overly excited when they show up in our grocery stores – WOOT!
So the big question now was what to make? Lemon curd, Lemon Tart, Lemon Chiffon Pie? Hmmmmm . . . decisions, decisions. What I really wanted was a blueberry muffin but not one the size of China that would feed a Third World country and not one that would set me back 500 calories loaded with ooey-gooey caramel and nuts (although . . . ) and I wanted a muffin that didn’t taste like fine wood shavings, aka sawdust. It’s the small things in life people, and while you might think I’m high maintenance (that would be a resounding YES! – just ask The Professor, but he’s well fed . . .) I just wanted a not-too-sweet, normal sized muffin studded with dark blue pearls of goodness . . . (cue super hero music . . . ) tah-dahhhh – Moosewood to the rescue!
What I love about this recipe is how many variations of muffins you can make with this one basic recipe just by changing up the fruit, adding nuts or even a few mini chocolate chips. I had a bag of wild blueberries in my freezer which paired nicely with the lemons. And because I really wanted the Meyer Lemons to shine, I replaced the usual streusel topping with a glaze. Now I will admit that while these muffins aren’t necessarily the prettiest muffin on the plate, they possess a delightfully moist and tender crumb with a great yin/yang of tart/sweet to them. Brushing the sticky Meyer lemon glaze on the top of the muffin gave my tastebuds a hit of lemony tartness followed by the luscious, soft, give of the blueberry . . . mmmmm . . .
And the bonus? They freeze beautifully too.
And can I just say that I’m really lovin’ Joan Osborne’s arrangement of this song – James Taylor never sounded so good!!
MEYER LEMON & BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
Adapted from: moosewood restaurant new classics, 2001
Makes 12 muffins
Preheat the oven to 350°. Prepare a 12- cup muffin tin by lightly oiling the cups or placing a paper liner in each cup.
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups blueberries – I used frozen wild blueberries
1 cup unbleached white all-purpose plus 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
zest of one Meyer lemon
In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and then the milk and vanilla; the mixture will look lumpy. By hand with a rubber spatula, fold in the blueberries. Set aside.
In a separate large bowl, add the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and lemon zest, stir with a fork to mix well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold together with a rubber spatula without overmixing. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the batter into each muffin cup.
Immediately place the muffins in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until puffed and golden. After about 20 minutes, rotate the muffin tin in the oven to ensure even baking.
While muffins are baking, make the glaze:
Meyer Lemon Glaze:
2/3 Cup Meyer Lemon juice
2/3 Cup Water
1 Cup Sugar
Stir and simmer until sugar is dissolved; remove from heat and set aside
Remove the muffins from the oven, brush with glaze and place the tins on a rack to cool for about 15 minutes.
Serve warm or cool completely and store in a sealed container at room temperature.
NOTE: Any leftover glaze can be used in iced or hot tea, add it to club soda or in whatever sounds good! It freezes well too.
So dear readers, what’s your favorite thing to bake? I absolutely love hearing from you so leave me a comment!
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