Crunchy Lemon Muffins
( SERVES 12 )
I have often been told these are the most frequently made muffins in my several muffin books! When inventing my first muffin recipes, I remembered a baking powder loaf my mother used to make. It was topped with lemon juice and sugar, which, in my opinion, lifted it far above any other loaf added to our school lunches.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degC for 10 minutes. Place a rack just above the middle of the oven. Coat a 12-hole muffin pan with baking spray. Stir the flour and place it in a large bowl. Add the first measure of sugar and, using a fork, toss to mix.
- Put the butter in a smaller microwave-proof bowl and microwave until melted but not hot. Add the milk, egg and zest, then whisk together with the fork until combined. Tip this mixture into the dry ingredients.
- Mix gently, using a flat-bladed stirrer, until the dry ingredients are dampened, but the mixture still looks rough. (Do not beat until smooth or the muffins will be tough and form peaks as they bake.) Spoon the mixture into the prepared pans. Try to put only one rounded spoonful into each hole. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the tops of the muffins are lightly browned and the surface of a muffin springs back when lightly pressed.
- While the muffins bake, wash the smaller bowl and put the juice and second measure of sugar in it. Without stirring to dissolve the sugar, use a pastry brush to apply the sugar and lemon mixture to the hot, freshly cooked muffins in their pan.
- Repeat until all the lemon mixture is used. While the muffins are still fairly hot, lift them carefully onto a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or reheated.