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Laurel Watson's Recipe - Lemon Muffins, Loaf, and Bars - 3 July

Poppy Seed Muffins

2 cups flour
2 tbsp poppy seeds
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
zest of one lemon
1 cup plain yoghurt (do not use non-fat yoghurt)
1 tsp vanilla essence

Lemon Glaze:
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • Preheat oven to 180degC and place rack in centre of oven.  Line a 12-cup muffin tray with paper liners or spray with a non stick vegetable spray.
  • In a small bowl, whisk or stir together the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder and baking soda.
  • In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Beat in the lemon zest, yoghurt, and vanilla until well blended.
  • Stir in the flour mixture just until moistened. Do not over-mix.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. (If making jumbo muffins increase the baking time to about 25 minutes.)
  • Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tray and glazing.

Glaze: While muffins are baking stir together the icing sugar and lemon juice. The mixture should be runny. Once the muffins are removed from the oven, wait five minutes, and then drizzle the glaze over the muffins with a spoon. 

Makes 12 muffins

Greek Lemon Loaf

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
rind of 1 lemon

juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until creamy then blend in milk.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and lemon rind. Add to the butter mixture and stir until combined.
  • Pour into a  greased and lined 22 x 10cm loaf pan.
  • Bake in  oven for 55 to 60 minutes.
  • Cool in the tin for 5 minutes.
  • Remove to rack and while still hot, with a toothpick poke holes all over the top of the loaf, and spoon glaze evenly over. Cool.
Glaze: Combine lemon juice and sugar in saucepan. Stir and heat till sugar is dissolved.

Lemon Bars

1 to 3/4 cups flour 
2/3 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup cornflour
1 cup butter, room temperature
Extra softened butter for greasing the tin

  • Preheat oven to 180C. Adjust oven rack to middle position.
  • Lightly butter an approimately 30cm x  22 cm baking dish and line with baking paper allowing the edges to come over the sides.
  • Pulse flour, icing sugar and cornflour in a food processor.
  • Add butter and blend, 8 to 10 seconds, and then pulse until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  • Sprinkle mixture into prepared baking pan and press firmly into an even layer with slightly raised sides to hold in the filling.
  • Refrigerate for about 30 minutes and then bake until golden brown, about 20 to 30 minutes; remove from oven and let cool slightly.
  • After crust is finished baking, reduce oven temperature to 160C.

Lemon Filling:
4 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 to 1/3 cups sugar
3 tbsp  flour 
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest (from two large lemons)
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice, strained
1/3 cup milk
pinch salt
extra icing sugar to decorate finished bars

While crust is baking, make the lemon filling:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, and flour; stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, milk, and salt to blend well. Pour mixture onto the pan on top of the warm crust.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until the filling feels firm when touched lightly. Transfer the dish to a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes.
  • Grasp the paper and carefully lift the bars onto a cutting board. Cut into serving size squares or bars, wiping your knife clean between cuts if necessary. Sieve icing sugar over bars and serve.
  • NOTE: The icing sugar will start to be absorbed into the Lemon Filling after several hours, but it can be reapplied before serving.
  • Storage: 3 days at room temperature, 3 weeks refrigerated (individually wrapped in plastic wrap to prevent drying), or 3 months frozen.

Makes about 2 dozen bars.