I am unnaturally excited about these Meyer lemon poppy seed muffins.
I’m always looking for a good recipe for such things, and I’m always inundated by recipes that call for a full cup of butter and ridiculous amounts of sugar. Conversely, there are a slew of recipes out there that are “low fat” and “heatlhy” and come out heavy, dense, and stick to the muffin papers. But now, I have found it. THE PERFECT LEMON POPPY MUFFINS! They are here! In my house!
This all started when I found a bag of Meyer lemons hanging on my front door. I suppose I’m getting a bit of a reputation, huh? I knew it had to be my friend (and across-the-street neighbor) Marcie, because who else would do such a thoughtful thing so anonymously? I wanted to make something worthy of such a nice gift, so I combed the web. For days.
I found a recipe on Better Homes & Gardens, and started to play, and what emerged was magnificent. A soft crumb. Strong lemon flavor with sweetness attached to take away the edge but keep things flavorful. A crunch from the poppy seeds, a crackle of turbinado sugar on top. And healthy ingredients like wheat germ, yogurt, and enough canola oil to be good for you without weighing you down.
I win! And so does everybody else who get to eat one of these irresistible muffins.
I started by zesting those beautiful Meyer lemons.
The zest went right in with the dry ingredients: whole wheat white flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and sugar. And poppy seeds!
Liquid ingredients next. Milk. Egg. Oil. Yogurt. Vanilla bean paste. And of course, some Meyer lemon juice, freshly squeezed from a zested lemon. I’ve played with this recipe several times, and I think 6-7 teaspoons is just right.
Next step, obvious: pour the liquid ingredients into the dry.
And stir. Gently. Lovingly.
I could show you photos of the batter in the muffin tins, with a light sprinkling of turbinado sugar on top, but let’s cut to the chase:
Meyer lemon poppy seed muffins, baked to perfection. Look at them. Then close your eyes and smell them.
Everything I have been looking for in a citrus-infused poppy seed muffin is inside them.
Perfection has arrived.
LEMON POPPY SEED MUFFIN RECIPE (original)
My version of Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins (adapted from Better Homes & Gardens)
1 ¼ cups whole wheat white flour
½ cup wheat germ
½ cup cane sugar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup 1% milk
1/8 cup safflower oil
1/8 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
1 large egg, beaten
6-8 teaspoons Meyer lemon juice (to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
turbinado (or any coarse) sugar, for sprinkling
Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin and heat the oven to 400 degrees. (You will reduce the temperature later.)
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat germ, sugar, poppy seeds, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Make a well in the center and set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together the milk, oil, yogurt, egg, lemon juice, and vanilla until thoroughly mixed.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the well in the flour mixture and stir just until combined, but not any longer.
Scoop batter into muffin tins, dividing as evenly as possible. (An ice cream scoop works beautifully.) Sprinkle each one lightly with turbinado sugar.
Place tray in the oven bake at 400 for 5 minutes, then reduce temperature to 375. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. (Mine are always done at exactly 15, total.)
Give them another five minutes in the tin, then remove to a wire rack.