As I mentioned before, I’m making an effort to be nicer to my husband. To relive the early days of romance when, if he asked for a bowl of rice pudding, for example, I would immediately leap into action and return with 16 bowls of rice pudding balanced atop my head. Instead of plopping a bag of rice down in front of him.
(Why is new love so unreasonable?)
Last week, I made Dorie Greenspan’s lemon poppy seed muffins with dabs of jam inside. Husband loved them despite the fact that he usually doesn’t like lemon- flavored things, which I had forgotten when I decided to make them (Strike 2). Anyway, he liked them so much that he commanded me to make them again. His exact words were: “I command you to make these again.” It’s sort of a joke between us because he knows how well I respond to commands. How the mere implication touches off an internal struggle in my brain between wanting to do the nice thing, and wanting to DENY anyone anything that is commanded of me. (I’m the kind of woman that religious extremists dream of oppressing. Except that nobody can oppress me better than me, so the joke’s on them!)
But, I still haven’t made the muffins, again. Geez, Tammy, can’t you take a joke?
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
I broke my local rule so I could sneak some of my favorite jam into these muffins. It’s Bonnie’s Black and Blue. Blackberry and blueberry jam. Together. In one jar. And it even has the local berry farmer’s name on the label: Pio Angelini. How sweet!
2/3 cup sugar
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
¾ cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, melted cooled
2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
¼ cup blackberry jam
Preheat oven to 400°F and center rack in oven. Butter a regular-sized muffin pan and set on cookie sheet.
In a large bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and strongly scented of lemon. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, and melted butter together until well blended. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Stir in the poppy seeds. Do not overmix.
Fill muffin cups with batter to the halfway mark. With the back of a spoon, push a depression into the batter for a teaspoonful of jam. Divide remaining batter between the cups and, using a clean spoon, push down the batter around the edges to seal in the jam. Bake about 20 minutes or until the tops are golden. Let cool in pan at least 5 minutes before removing them.
Source: Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours. And by the way, I’ve just joined the Tuesdays with Dorie baking club, so you’ll be seeing a lot more from her starting next week. And maybe then my dad will stop complaining that we never have anything good in the house.