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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter - Lemon Poppyseed Muffins with Lemon Curd

Happy Easter!  

I woke up this morning, and all I could think about was how I wanted to bake Lemon Poppyseed Muffins.  

I already had some freshly-made lemon curd in my fridge (I made it yesterday at Pastry School) desperately in need of a home.  What could be a more perfect vehicle for this tart custard gold than a sweet little muffin? 

Because it's Easter, and because all holidays make me miss my family even more than usual (and "usual" is a LOT), these muffins are in honor of my parents. 

Anything of the muffin variety reminds me of my Dad...and the sour, brightness of lemon is something he'd definitely love.  I knew I wanted them to be Poppyseed, because that reminds me of my Mom.  In fact, I'm sure if she was here to try a bite (or ten), she would get 100 of the tiny black orbs stuck in her teeth...right in time for a photo opp.
I decided to use a basic buttermilk muffin recipe, and twist it a little.  I added the zest of a couple Eureka Lemons (this is the kind that all supermarkets carry, and we know them just as the generic lemon), toasted some thinly sliced almonds for crunch, and added a quarter cup of poppyseeds.  Then, after filling my muffin tins, I added a mountain of silky, yellow lemon curd right on top, dusted them with some raw turbinado sugar (which gives the top a very pleasing crunchy sweetness), and into the oven they went. As the muffins baked, the lemon curd oozed and cradled itself deep inside it's muffin nest, creating a lovely balance of flavors and textures.  I'm a sucker for anything mini, so I made half of the batch as mini muffins and half as regular.
Just like how the tart and sweet complement one another in these muffins, my home-sick feeling was countered by the sweet and wonderful feeling of being able to share these muffins with my lovely boyfriend Nick's, family.  I also discovered that these muffins are all the more delicious with a good glass of champagne...but, then again, what isn't?

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