Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sour Cream Lemon Muffins

Deciding what to cook this week has been tough. You see I gave up grocery shopping a week ago, deciding to cook with what I have on hand. I'm forcing myself to clear out my refrigerator a bit before I leave on my trip.

Of course the pre-travel grocery ban complicates my general household cooking and food blogging: "What can I make with 3 dozen eggs, a huge hunk of Swiss cheese and a bunch of celery?!"

So I'll be baking with my most perishable ingredients (dairy, eggs, produce) this week. Anything that will be hairy, rancid or capable of launching itself at me when I return home in June. Just the sort of ingredients used in today's sour cream lemon muffins.

They're a moist, cakey and simple to make muffin (one bowl!), with a delicate lemon flavor. They're not tart or overpowering, despite all the zest, juice and extract used. They make a nice breakfast with a hot cup of canarino.

Perfect for the busy Mr. Humble, who can't manage to assemble even cold cereal in the morning.

Sour Cream Lemon Muffins

yields 6 jumbo muffins or a dozen standard muffins

2 cups (282g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (102g) granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
zest of one large lemon, finely grated
1 1/4 cup sour cream (250g)
2 large eggs
5 tablespoons (75g) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup (55g) fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon extract (or 1/4 teaspoon lemon oil)

coarse sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Prep your muffin pan with a little non-stick spray and preheat the oven to 375°F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon zest. Use a whisk to break up any lumps and thoroughly combine. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the sour cream, eggs, butter, lemon juice, and lemon extract.

Mix together with the whisk quickly until the batter is moist but combined. It shouldn't take more than 30 seconds or 20 strokes. Expect the batter to be thick and a little lumpy. If it seems overly thick (there will be some variation in moisture content between sour creams) feel free to add a splash more lemon juice.

Divide the batter between the wells in your muffin pan (roughly 3/4 full) and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.

Bake for 16-24 minutes (depending on the size of your muffin) until the muffins are light golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean. Do not over bake.

Allow the muffins to sit in their tins on a wire rack for 5 minutes to cool. Then tap them out of the pan.

Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

In other news, this is the last week to get your pies in for the Not So Humble Pie Contest next week. I'll be confirming all the entrants via email this weekend, so keep an eye out for an email from me if you submitted a pie. (Edit: Due to a very busy weekend, I'll be doing the confirmations on Monday the 17th)

Also, for those folks out there who just can't get enough lemony desserts check out Food-ology and Kitchen Koala. They've been filling my blogger-feed with some seriously tempting lemon desserts this week. Nom.


  1. Oh! Those muffins look perfect! I am going to try them this week! Thank you!

  2. I can't get enough of Breakfast muffins and lemon for that matter. These will be on the menu for this weekend.

  3. I don't think I've ever seen you bake something so simple on your blog as these delicious looking lemon muffins. I thought I was tuning into the wrong blog for a moment. How ordinary of you! I think they look fantastic and I love anything lemon. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your trip. Sounds fun!

  4. These look delicious Mrs. Humble! I may have to try this for my Mr. Abbey Cat (doesn't sound nearly as awesome as Mr. Humble) who also struggles in the mornings.

  5. I saw these and had to have them. A batch is in the oven right now. Can't wait to pull them out and sample - thanks!

  6. Thanks for the reminder about the pie contest. I'll get on that pronto. Also, I was thinking. From the comments Mother Humble left on your blog the other day. Does she ever do guest posts. She sounds like she could be very entertaining.

    And, the muffins are perfection.

  7. Yum! These look like the perfect breakfast!!!

  8. today's to do list...
    1. bake sour cream lemon muffins (look yummy)
    2. decide on which pie to bake
    3. eat sour cream lemon muffins

  9. These muffins look delicious Mrs. Humble!

  10. Ran into your blog a few days ago and added it to my subscription list so I dont miss a thing! I love all your beautiful photos and will certainly try your recipes.
    Thanks for posting!

  11. Those look super tasty- but the pictures! I love the contrasting blue. Really beautiful.

  12. So are these muffins jumbos or regular sized muffins? I never seem to get that kind of lift in my muffins and I'm wondering if there's a difference from the size of muffin.

  13. geeklady,

    These would be the jumbos.

    I made two batches of the muffins (one standard, one jumbo). The jumbo muffins got the nice high, craggy tops and the standard muffins were a bit more subdued. So yes, the pan/size of the muffin does seem to influence the overall appearance.

  14. Before I even finished reading this post, I threw together these muffins. I made some substitutions (since I'm determined to stick to my pantry too) but if the muffins are anything like the batter, they'll be fantastic.

  15. these look fantastic! i hate muffins that come out dry and crumbly. like those from McCafe (yuck)!

  16. They look delicious.... make me craving for sweet... :)

  17. Those muffins look so moist and yummy!

  18. These muffins ARE so moist and yummy. I made them and household was thoroughly impressed. Thanks!

  19. I was looking for a lemon muffin that didn't take a mountain of butter. I came across your recipe. They are in the oven as I type and they smell wonderful. Thanks!


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