Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Meyer Lemon Muffins

I have a serious obsession with lemons.  I think it's probably one of the most used ingredients in all of my recipes here on the blog.  I feel lost when I don't have any in my kitchen.  And I know most women will think me crazy, but 9 times out of 10 when I am offered the choice of a lemon flavored sweet over a chocolate one, I will choose the lemon.  I LOOOOVE the sweet puckery flavor of those golden gems.  L.  O.  V.  E.
But there is a citrus fruit that I hold in even higher regards than the simple supermarket lemon- the Meyer lemon.  There is something intoxicating about the scent of this special fruit.  One whiff and I am in heaven.  I have a very small tree in my backyard that is nearly crumbling under the weight of the huge Meyers that hang from it ripening.  When the wind blows in the right direction and the breeze blows their scent in through my open back door, it's incredible.  Maybe I can make an eu de Meyer lemon and keep the scent nearby all year long. 
The first little Meyers of the season made their way into my hands last week.  I've said it before and it continues to hold true, living in California is such an advantage when it comes to the availability of produce.  When it comes to citrus, this is especially the case.  When my CSA offered a 3 lb bag of Meyers for an insanely low price, I didn't even hesitate to add one to my cart.  One question remained.  How do I maximize the potential of my treasured citrus fruit?

First up, Three Citrus Marmalade made with clementines, valencia oranges and Meyer lemons (yum!  sweet, not bitter and straight up orange flavor).  Then these wonderful cookies.  At this point, I had four lemons left.  I debated making my favorite scones, but wasn't in the mood for the cranberries.  I wanted pure, unadulterated Meyer lemon.  Enter this muffin.  Thank you LA Times for understanding me and knowing just what I needed.
Meyer Lemon Muffins
Makes 18 muffins.  Adapted from the LA Times.
Click here for the printable recipe.

Get ready for some serious Meyer lemon flavor.  I would not try this recipe with a traditional supermarket lemon- they are entirely too tart and would overwhelm the muffin.  If you can't find Meyer lemons, then try another lemon muffin recipe.  But if you can find them and you can't stand wasting any part of the precious lemon, this is your recipe.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda 
4 Meyer lemons, divided
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Line a standard muffin tin with cupcake liners or butter the wells.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and baking soda.  Set aside.

Using a sharp knife or vegetable peeler, cut the zest from three of the lemons.  Try to remove the zest with as little of the white pith as possible.  Place the zest in a blender.  Return to the zested lemons and trim as much of the pith from the lemons.  Discard the pith.  Chop the lemons into several pieces, removing and discarding the seeds.  Place the chopped lemon pieces into the blender with the zest and puree until as smooth as possible.

Add the lemon puree, eggs, milk and melted butter to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.  Fill the muffin wells halfway with the batter.  Slice the remaining lemon paper thin and lay a slice on top of each muffin.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.  The finished muffins will have a golden color and feel springy to the touch.

If you didn't use liner papers, run a butter knife or this spatula around the outside of the muffins to release them.  Remove the muffins from the tin and cool on a baking rack.  The muffins will keep stored in an airtight container for up to three days.

1 comment:

  1. These are delicious. I worried that the original LA Times muffins would be bitter due to the pith. I substituted Greek yogurt for the milk.