The sad thing about moving away from the village that one lived in and away from the church that one went to is that one is no longer near to one’s friends. But the nice thing about moving to somewhere not too far away is that one can still meet one’s friends for coffee. And so, one Saturday morning a couple of weeks ago I took a short train ride to meet up with two good friends for coffee and cake. My cake of choice was a lemon and poppy seed muffin, and it was tasty. Tasty enough, in fact, that whilst trying to think of a recipe with which to start blogging properly this year (only a month into the year…), I decided to try my hand at lemon and poppy seed muffins. Unfortunately, however, the small supermarket that I went into at a ridiculously early hour for one who has the day off (and hence time to try making muffins) was not particularly obliging. Following a futile search for poppy seeds, I approached one of the shop assistants to ask if they sold them and was told that they did not, but they did have sunflower seeds. Somehow the thought of lemon and sunflower muffins just didn’t have the same appeal as lemon and poppy so I had to substitute the poppy seeds for flaked almonds, and thankfully they still taste good. One of the keys to making good muffins is to keep your stirring to a minimum – when you add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, stir them together just enough to wet and incorporate all the dry ingredients.
For the Muffins:
What you need:
1 cup flaked almonds
2 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup melted margarine/butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
What to do:
1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6 (200ºC or 400ºF).
2. Spread the flaked almonds across a baking tray and toast in the pre-heated oven for a few minutes until golden-brown. When the almonds are done, remove them from the oven and leave the oven on as it will then stay warm for the muffins (which will go in at the same temperature).
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, egg and melted margarine/butter. You could probably add the buttermilk to the bowl as well, but as I forgot to and am not too sure what the lemon juice might do to it, I’m not going to give it as an explicit instruction here…
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
What to do:
1. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl.