What an odd two weeks I've had - laid low with pneumonia, of all things, and quite wobbly. I was very happy to have the new Julia book to read - have you read it? It's called "Dearie, the Remarkable Life of Julia Child" by Bob Spitz and although he goes over familiar ground, there is much about her older years and her connections with younger chefs and her commitment to classical French culinary training that I've found fascinating.
After a good two weeks off, I was seized with a desire for something more than peppermint tea and oatmeal. Lemon poppyseed muffins popped into my mind, but a quick search of the fridge turned up pistachios , but no poppyseeds. That was an easy substitute, and I loved the crunch of the pistachios.
This recipe made several Texas-size muffins (2 scoops of batter per muffin) and a dozen regular sized muffins (1 scoop of batter per muffin) so I'm guessing this would make around
2 dozen small muffins. They freeze well, IF you have any left over. I always end up dropping off extras to several friends who are passionate about these particular muffins.
Glazed Lemon Muffins with pistachios
Preheat oven to 330F.
Grease your chosen sized muffin tins with vegetable shortening.
zest of two lemons, grated
3 cups King Arthur all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar, plus more for the glaze
2 t. baking powder
6 extra large eggs
1 T. vanilla extract
6 T. milk
3 sticks (24 T.) unsalted butter, softened
Grate the lemon zest into mixer bowl.
Add the flour, sugar and baking powder and mix.
With mixer on low, add the eggs, vanilla, and milk. With mixer still going, cut in the soft butter and beat until batter is smooth and creamy.
Using a regular sized ice cream scoop ( I use a spring-loaded one, well worth the investment) scoop batter into muffin tins - one scoop for regular sized ones, two scoops for Texas sized ones.
Bake for approximately 40 minutes, but I start checking the smaller muffins at 30 minutes. The muffins should be firm to the touch when you press the centers gently.
Remove muffins to a cooling rack and make the glaze:
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup white sugar
several tablespoons finely chopped pistachio nuts
Place the lemon juice and sugar into a small saucepan, bring to a simmer, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat .
Gently remove muffins from muffin pans and set on cooling racks set onto baking sheets. Brushing the muffins with the glaze is sticky business, so this will contain the mess.
Brush the muffins several times with the warm glaze and sprinkle with the nuts .
As you see, I did pick some of the last of the cherry tomatoes from my very neglected in-town garden. I discovered after planting that there was no water supply, so I let it languish in the hot, dry summer weather - and the tomatoes suffered.