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Crunchy lemon and poppyseed muffins

With Simon Holst

These muffins were created under a dual influence! Alison was unable to resist trying a miniature Lemon and Poppyseed cake she saw while grocery shopping on holiday in California, while Simon has always been rather taken with a similar sounding loaf he once tried while out for breakfast.

For 12 regular-sized muffins
Cost per serving: $0.60
Time to prepare: 20 minutes


2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup poppyseeds
finely grated rind of 2 lemons
100g butter
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup sugar


Measure the flour, sugar and poppyseeds into a large bowl. Finely grate in all the coloured rind from the lemons. (Alternatively, place the sugar in a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade. Thinly peel the yellow skin from the lemons with a potato peeler and add it to the sugar. Process until the rind is finely chopped through the sugar. Add the remaining dry ingredient and process to mix, then transfer to a bowl and proceed as below - it is best not to mix muffins in the processor as it is very easy to over-mix them!)

Heat the butter until just melted in a microwave dish or pot. Add the eggs and the milk and beat with a fork until everything is thoroughly combined.

Tip the liquid into the dry ingredients and fold together until the flour is dampened. Do not beat till smooth, as with all muffins it is important not to over-mix the batter, or the tops of your muffins will "erupt" into peaks as they bake, and the muffins will be tougher than intended.

Spoon mixture into 12 medium sized muffin pans which have been lightly buttered or sprayed.

Bake at 200C for 10 - 15 minutes until golden brown, and until the centres spring back when pressed.

While muffins cook, squeeze the lemon juice and mix with the second amount of sugar. (The sugar does not need to be dissolved.) As soon as you take them from the oven, brush the lemon and sugar mixture over the tops of the muffins, and the rest over their sides and bottoms. Cool on a rack.

Serve these muffins warm or reheated with coffee or tea at any time of day, or with some lightly whipped cream for dessert.

(TX: 23 August 2011)