Poppy seeds and lemon is a classic combination. The acidity in the lemon balances the fatty and crunchy poppy seeds beautifully.
However, in most poppy seeds and lemon recipes I have come across, the poppy seeds quantity is usually limited to a tablespoon or two, which is why they don’t impart their unique flavor as much as I would prefer. Therefore, in the following recipe, I have decided to increase the quantity of poppy seeds to a whopping of 1 cup – and loved the result. If you like poppy seeds, you will love these muffins.
* If you’re a Seinfeld fan, you probably remember the episode in which Elaine fails a drug test after eating poppy seed cookies. I was quite surprised to learn that this incident is actually realistic, and that eating poppy seeds can indeed make you fail a drug test! (Check THIS LINK for more info.) So, bear this in mind, especially since these very tasty muffins contain more poppy seeds than in most recipes…
* Poppy seeds tend to get rancid quickly, so for best results it is best to buy them whole and grind them at home, as shown here.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 25 minutes
1 cup whole poppy seeds
1½ cups flour
1 stick (115 grams) butter, very soft
2 XL eggs, at room temperature
1¼ cups sugar
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup milk, at room temperature
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs lemon zest
1 Tbs baking powder
¼ tsp salt
For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs lemon zest
1 Tbs Poppy seeds
1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Place 18 paper baking cups in muffin baking trays.
2. Place the poppy seeds and ½ cup of the flour in a food processor, fitted with the metal blade. Process briefly, to lightly grind the poppy seeds.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the butter and eggs together. Add the sugar and mix well. Add the applesauce, milk, lemon juice and lemon zest and mix well.
4. Add the poppy seeds and flour mix, the rest of the flour, the baking powder and salt. Whisk to a smooth batter and fill the baking cups.
5. Bake for 25 minutes, until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out almost dry. Transfer to a rack and let cool to room temperature.
6. The icing: place the powdered sugar in a bowl and gradually add lemon juice, until you reach a thick yet runny consistency. Pour over the cupcakes and sprinkle the lemon zest and poppy seeds. Let set before serving.
* The unglazed muffins can be frozen, in an airtight container, for up to a month. The glazed ones will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.