All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

lemon muffins and the last of the tomatoes

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:

Lemon 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.  


Kate said...

Glad you are up and mended! The muffins sound great.... I love lemon and would have never thought of substituting pistachios. Brilliant!

Barb said...

Oh Katrina! I am shocked to hear you had pneumonia! Yikes!!! I hope you are feeling much better and stronger.

I suppose if you are baking you are feeling better - these look delicious and the pistachios are clever addition. Lucky the people who get your 'extras'.

Please...take good care of yourself!

katrina said...

Kate - you are sweet! Thanks for the thumbs up, I dearly love the look of those pistachios!

katrina said...

Hi Barb! I'm still trying to figure out where I got this - I took an older friend to the emergency room and hung around for 5 hours, so I suppose it's possible I got it there? Appetite is still iffy, but I did eat one of the little muffins. For some reason I'm craving Doritos??? I never eat Doritos - until now. I'm doing my best but apparently it takes a while to get energy back - boooo:( Thanks for your kind words and enjoy the cooler weather!

diary of a tomato said...

Now I have a craving for lemon muffins with either pistachios or poppy seeds, as well as doritos... that was the sound of a locavore falling off the wagon! Seriously though, is sounds like bodily stress is making you crave whatever is in doritos, I suspect it's the salt since you're probably low in fluids. Hope you feel better soon, especially now as the weather is changing so fast!

katrina said...

You're a hoot, diary of a tomato (one of these days I'll figure out what to call you two). I suspect my craving comes from a very strong inhaled medication that is supposed to open my airways. It also blitzes my taste buds - (not good news for a cook) and makes me fall asleep (not good news on the work front:)