Buttermilk Almond Muffins & Meyer Lemon Curd

Buttermilk almond muffinsOver the last few years, Meyer lemons seem to be creeping into the mainstream. A cross between lemon and orange, Meyer lemons are smaller, have less acid and more sweet juiciness than common Eureka or Lisbon lemons.

I heard Alice Waters sing their praises about 10 years ago when I lived in Minneapolis, while giving a talk at a food event I attended. Because she’s Alice Waters and she could, she’d brought along a crate full of fresh, boutique-farmed California produce to display for show-and-tell.

In the middle of the big, beautiful pile of vegetables and fruits I figured I’d never, ever find in any Midwestern grocery store or produce stand was a little basket of lemons, colored an intense shade of egg-yolk orange.

Their skin was silky smooth and they had a sweet perfume I could smell from 3 feet away. One sniff of those lemons and I immediately longed to be transported to a climate where they grew.

That was a decade ago; I don’t think there was much commercial distribution of Meyer lemons; pretty much the only way you could find them was in someone’s backyard in California.

The season for Meyer lemons is relatively brief – unlike common lemons you can find any old day of the week, they appear in the market roughly between early winter and early spring.

Because they seem so scarce and rare, whenever I see them I usually buy more than I can use before they start to rot. Their skins are much more tender than the usual lemon, so they don’t last as long in the crisper drawer.

One way to preserve them is to make a buttery curd using the zest and juice.

meyer lemon curd

And a nice way to use up lemon curd (rather than tucking into it with a spoon), is baked into a topping for these tangy buttermilk muffins.

Buttermilk almond muffins

Buttermilk Almond Muffins & Meyer Lemon Curd

Yield: 1 dozen

Ingredients

  1. 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup almond flour
  3. 1/3 cup sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  9. 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  10. Freshly grated zest of 2 Meyer or regular lemons
  11. 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  12. 3/4 cup Meyer lemon curd -recipe follows (yes, you can use prepared lemon curd instead)
  13. 3/4 cup sliced, toasted almonds
  14. For Meyer lemon curd:
  15. 3 Meyer lemons
  16. 3/4 cup sugar
  17. 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  18. 6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a muffin tin or line with cupcake liners.
  2. Whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl lightly beat the eggs, buttermilk, butter, zest and almond extract; pour over the flour mixture and stir until just blended.
  3. Divide the batter into the muffin pan cups. Top each cup with 1 teaspoon each of the lemon curd and the almonds.
  4. Bake 15 - 20 minutes, or until tops are just turning golden and are firm to the touch.Cool the muffins for 10 minutes before turning out and serving.
  5. To make the lemon curd, zest the lemons with a grater, then cut them in half and squeeze the juice into a small, heavy saucepan. Add the zest and stir in the sugar to dissolve.
  6. Add the eggs and butter and place the pan over medium heat. Use a small heatproof spatula or wooden spoon to constantly stir the mixture until it begins to thicken around the edges of the pan.
  7. Scrape the sides and bottom of the pan and lower the heat a bit as you continue to stir. At this point it should form a curd pretty quickly, within a minute or two. Once it reaches a pourable pudding-like consistency, remove the pan from the heat.
  8. Strain the curd into a bowl, cover and chill at least 2 hours before using.
http://familystylefood.com/2011/03/buttermilk-almond-muffins-meyer-lemon-curd/

Comments

  1. These are so pretty! The last time I made muffins with almonds, I felt like they got kind of tough. Maybe I need to try using almond flour. Where do you find that?

  2. those are just what I crave for !! & your pictures are gorgeous !!

  3. What a delicious post! The muffins look irresistible, and Meyer Lemons… I could eat those every day!

    • Thanks Lori, I think I could seriously just sit down with a bowl of lemon curd and be very happy, but especially so when made with those little Meyers!

      Lindsay, I use Bob’s Red Mill almond flour. You can also make your own by grinding almonds with a little sugar in a food processor (the sugar helps prevent it turning into almond butter).

      Frog in the Cottage – Thanks so much! These muffins are nice to satisfy the urge for a little something, but not too, too sweet.

  4. I’ve never seen them at my market yet. I would bake with them, especially those delicious muffins.

  5. Your recipes always looks so beautiful and gourmet. Girl, I’m otally following you on Twitter!

    • Charissa – thanks. Right back atcha!

      Lisa, you are one lucky girl. You might find me tip-toeing over there too :)

      Thanks, Callie! I do have a thing for packing food up in pretty packages. Hmmm, might have to explore that more fully…

      Hi Lynn – yes, definitely worth a whirl to make curd with Meyer lemons. Although there are so many things to do with them. Preserving is a good one, one of my favorites!

      Samantha Angela, yes the curd does firm up a bit during baking. But the muffin tops stay moist and lemony, so nice to bite into.

  6. Mmmmm…. Meyer lemon curd. My neighbor has a Meyer lemon tree. I’ll have to tip toe on over there!

  7. Ahh, these look beautiful! And, I love the Lemon Curd packaging – perfect touch :)

  8. The muffins and the lemon curd both look delish. I preserved some Meyer lemons this season, but love the idea of the curd. I’m going to check today to see if I can get more lemons!

  9. These muffins sound so delicious! I love how you topped them with lemon curd. Does the curd firm up when you bake it?

  10. Karen they are so beautiful and i agree with you. i will just have those lemon curd as is. thanks for the recipe

  11. Frances Vinnacombe says:

    i made the muffins and for the first time, i used 100% white whole wheat flour. the texture of my muffins was rather spongy but tasty. is it supposed to be textured that way or did i stir too much or too little? i also made the lemon curd but used regular lemons since that’s what i had in the fridge. i couldn’t believe i did that without disaster. thanks for inspiring me!

    • Fran, the texture of the muffins is not as tender as some others, so spongy is probably ok…as long as they weren’t tough I doubt you stirred too much, unless you have a stronger arm than I think and a penchant to give a beating. :-D

  12. Thanks for the Lemon Curd recipe. I am one of the lucky ones who has a Meyer Lemon tree in my yard. They are very sweet and juicy. My nephew came for a short visit and almost ate them all off my tree. These lemons are not always little. I have picked grapefruit sized lemons and they were still juicy and sweet.

  13. The Lemon Curd recipe says to use the zest of 3 Meyer Lemons. About how much does that measure in tablespoons? My Meyer Lemons are 2 to 3 times the size of normal lemons.

    • Wow, Jean! How lucky you are to have monster Meyer lemons right in your backyard. I’m more than a little envious :-)
      I’d use 2 -3 tablespoons of zest to equal the amount I get from my puny ones.

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