This is a very simple recipe. Delicious, but simple. The reason being that I am spending the next ten days in one of the most beautiful and relaxing places on earth and the thought of spending too much time in the kitchen is unthinkable. We are staying at an old boy scout camp in Maine. Its comprised of rustic little cabins on a big beautiful lake where we spend our days kayaking and exploring the little islands and coves nearby. Or if one desires more passive activities, the days are spent floating on a raft or lazing about in the sun with a book. Either way, extensive time in the kitchen is not an option. Not eating good food, however, is also not an option. So I made a batch of these lemon cherry muffins a few days ago and we have all been picking away at them for breakfasts and desserts (just add ice cream.)
The recipe is very easy and I made it with snacks that we had brought up for the twelve hour (!) car ride from Philadelphia. Dried cherries and Pistachios. I left the nuts out of half of them for a non-nut-eating member of the party and replaced the crumble with candied lemon slices (Boil the lemon slices in 1:1 sugar to water for about 2 minutes.) The crumble is my favorite part though! So if you CAN eat nuts, use the nuts. You could also use fresh cherries instead of the dried.
Lemon Muffins with Dried Cherries and Pistachios
¾ Cup Unsalted Butter (Melted and slightly cooled)
1 Cup Organic Cane Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
½ tsp. Kosher or Sea Salt
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
½ Cup Shelled Pistachios (If you can only find salted, omit the salt in the recipe)
½ Cup Dried Cherries (Soaked in warm water for about 15-30 minutes.
½ Cup Shelled Pistachios (finely chopped after measuring)
½ Cup All Purpose Flour
¼ Cup Brown Sugar
3 Tbs Butter
In a small bowl, combine the flour and baking soda and set aside.
Whisk together the butter, sugar and lemon. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla and salt.
Mix in the flour mixture.
Add the buttermilk and stir until the batter is smooth and combined.
Fold in the cherries and roughly chopped pistachios.
Pour the batter into lined muffin tins, filling each cup about ¾ of the way. Muffin papers are wonderful and easy, but I like to use squares of parchment paper pushed into the corners of the tin because I like the way it looks and I don’t always have muffin papers laying around.
For the crumble: Put the flour, sugar, and chopped pistachios in a bowl. Add the butter and mix together with a fork until the mixture is crumbly. If it feels too wet, add a little flour. Way too dry, add a little butter.
Spoon the crumble evenly over the tops of the muffins. Sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for about 35 minutes until the tops are golden and a toothpick comes out clean when you poke the center of a muffin. Mine took longer because I used a really large muffin tin.