Here we have the ultimate spring muffin – perfect for Mother’s Day brunch, or anytime you feel the need for a big old grin of happiness. The lemon flavor is vibrant, and the combination of of lemon juice and zest is a perfect compliment to the sweet/tart addition of the blackberry jam in the center. These are not super-sweet as you can imagine, which makes for a very refreshing compliment to a brunch where something rich and savory is being served. They are also a fine addition to a mid-morning snack craving of which I have fallen victim to a number of times. You might want to make a double batch and freeze some for later snacking emergencies.
This one is pretty easy to put together as muffins go. Make an easy muffin batter, the very careful drop a teaspoon of blackberry jam right on the top before popping them into the oven. It is important to use some restraint here, and not add too much jam, or to push the jam too far down into the batter. This would result in the jam working its way down to the bottom of the muffin and oftentimes deciding to spill right on out. This, speaking from experience, is not optimum.
Bake until just set around the jam center, and allow to cool for about ten minutes in the muffin tin before turning out onto a cooling rack.
Take a moment, feel very proud of yourself for waiting, and dive in!! Save some for your serving platter if possible. Let’s take advantage of springtime and decorate with some fresh flowers right out of the back yard.
Also, feel free to serve these guys with a nice pot of extra jam right alongside…
Happy Mother’s Day!! xoxoxox
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- ⅔-cup sugar
- 2 large lemons, zested and juiced (should have ⅓ cup juice)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup canola oil or other neutral oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- About ⅓ cup blackberry jam (or other jam of your choice). The trick here is to make sure your jam has been well set and is firm. This will prevent it going from places in your muffin you do not want it to venture into.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare your muffin tins by liberally spraying with a cooking or baking spray. NOTE: This recipe should make 12 regular sized muffins and about 7 muffins baked in a large muffin tins.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Mix together well until the smell of lemon is very strong. Combine the lemony sugar with the other dry ingredients.
- In another small bowl, combine the sour cream, eggs, lemon juice, canola oil and vanilla extract.
- Mix liquid ingredients gently into the dry ingredients – over mixing will make the muffins tough, so stir in only until just blended.
- Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, spoon batter into prepared muffin tins. If you are using a large, as opposed to regular sized muffin tin, each muffin should take about ½ cup of batter.
- Gently spoon 1 teaspoon of jam on the very top of each muffin, pressing down just a tiny bit. If you are tempted to push the jam down farther or to use more, you may end up with the ‘sinking jam syndrome’, which means the jam will migrate to the very bottom of the muffin and leak out the bottom. This in not our desired outcome.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until muffins are set on the top. You can also insert a toothpick in the center to see if it comes out clean – which it should. I find that it’s just as effective to gently touch the top of the muffin to see if it is firm, which will mean your muffins are done.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove from tins and allow to finish cooling on a cooling rack.