2/3 cup sugar
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tbsp. poppy seeds
1/3 cup blueberry jam (optional)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2-3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400º F. Butter or spray the 8 cast iron muffin baking pan Alternatively, use a silicone muffin pan, which needs neither greasing nor paper cups.
In a large bowl, rub the sugar and the lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and the fragrance of the lemon strong.
Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and melted butter together until well blended.
Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend.
Don’t worry about being thorough-a few lumps are better than overmixing the batter. Stir in the poppy seeds.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
If making jam-filled muffins, fill the muffin cups with half the batter and top each with a teaspoon full of jam. Spoon the rest of the batter over the jam and proceed.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.
Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold. Cool the muffins completely on the rack before icing them.
Best served the day they’re made.
for the icing:
Put the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl and add about 1-1/2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Stir with a spoon to moisten the sugar, then add enough additional lemon juice, a dribble at a time, to get an icing that is thin enough to drizzle from the tip of the spoon. You can then drizzle lines of icing over the tops of the muffins or coat the tops entirely.