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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It's a theme: Recipe

Buttermilk. Lemon-poppy. Who can resist the combination? The other day I created a lemon-poppy dressing for my abundant batch of cherry tomatoes and yesterday I touted the importance of marinating chicken in buttermilk before frying. Today I had a real craving for a lemon-poppy sweet so I poured over recipes and took one from a great book and doctored it slightly by adding buttermilk instead of regular milk and increased the amount of baking powder to compensate.

So what is buttermilk, after all? There is no butter, per se, in buttermilk, and it is lower in fat than sweet milk. Old-fashioned homemade buttermilk is the slightly sour, residual liquid which remains after butter is churned, ie. milk from the butter or buttermilk. The flavor of buttermilk is similar to that of yogurt and most people prefer it well-chilled. You'll find it is slightly thicker in texture than regular milk but not as heavy as cream.

Glazed-Lemon-Poppy Breakfast Muffins
makes 12

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. lemon-vodka*
1/8 cup poppy seeds

Preheat oven 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well.

In a large bowl, beat egg and add vanilla, lemon-vodka, zest, butter and buttermilk. Whisk well. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Add poppy seeds, mix, and spoon evenly into paper muffin cups.

Bake for 20 minutes until tester comes out clean. Allow to cool for 20 minutes and glaze.

3/4 cup confectioners sugar
2 Tbsp. warm water

Combine and stir well until liquidy. Spoon over muffins and allow 10-20 minutes to set.

*Lemon-Vodka: I reached for the lemon extract in the pantry only to find there was a bottle with about 1/2 a drop left so I poured 1 teaspoon of vodka into the bottle and swished it around and used 1/8 tsp. To recreate: mix together 1 tsp. vodka and 1/8 tsp. lemon extract