The Sunday Paper Dinner Table: Lemony Yogurt Muffins

At The Sunday Paper, we want to inspire you to gather at your table—virtually or with friends and family—and open your heart and mind to conversations that will move the needle. After all, the dinner table is where we connect on topics and map out the changes we can all make that’ll really move the needle.

Meet our Sunday Paper Chef: Dorie Greenspan

Learn about her mission: Inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, Dorie Greenspan is a legendary icon in the food world. She is the author of several books, including Dorie’s Cookies, a 2017 James Beard Award-winner for Best Baking and Dessert book; Around My French Table, a New York Times bestseller that was named Cookbook of the Year by the IACP; Baking Chez Moi, also a Times bestseller; and Baking: From My Home to Yours, a James Beard Award winner. She lives in New York City, Westbrook, Connecticut, and Paris. He new book, out now, is Baking with Dorie.

Our Conversation Starter: This week, Maria is reflecting on menopause and how we can all best inform ourselves and our loved ones. What is something surrounding perimenopause and menopause that has confused you?

Get Dorie’s recipe: Lemony Yogurt Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

HERE’S MY CHOICE for a house muffin, a recipe you can turn to daily knowing that whether you make the muffins plain, fold in some add-ins or decide to finish them fancifully, they’ll be just right. The backbone ingredients are yogurt, which adds sharp flavor even as it tenderizes the batter, and its boon companion, lemon zest. Simple and comforting soon after they come from the oven, the muffins can also be prettied up with a little confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice icing or—my favorite— lemon curd or marmalade brushed on while they’re hot. Not surprisingly, the muffins are particularly good when you fold berries into them. Blueberries are my go-to, but think of this recipe as a template for fruit muffins. Take a look at Playing Around for some ideas to get you started.

2 cups (272 grams) all-purpose flour

2¼ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

⅔ cup (133 grams) sugar

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

¾ cup (180 ml) plain yogurt, not straight from the fridge

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 stick (8 tablespoons; 4 ounces; 113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1½ cups (360 ml) blueberries (optional)

 

FOR FINISHING—CHOOSE ONE OR NONE

Lemon curd, homemade (see below) or store-bought, such as Stonewall Kitchen or Bonne Maman

Lemon (or other) marmalade, warmed to liquefy

Confectioners’ Sugar Icing (see below)

 

A WORD ON TEXTURE AND TEMPERATURE: To get the cakey texture that makes these muffins so lovely, your ingredients should be at room temperature, or as close to room temperature as your patience allows. Pull the yogurt and eggs out of the refrigerator as soon as you decide to make the muffins and melt the butter before you do anything else, so that it will have time to cool.

Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 400 degrees F. Line a regular-size muffin tin with cupcake papers (first choice, especially if you’re including the blueberries) or coat the cups with baker’s spray.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a medium bowl and, using your fingers, press and mash them together until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Whisk the sugar into the flour mixture.

Scrape the yogurt into the bowl you used for the sugar, add the eggs and whisk to blend. Whisk in the melted butter—the mixture may look slightly curdled, but it will be fine.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and, using a flexible spatula and a few brisk strokes, stir and fold until most of the flour is moistened. You might have a few patches of dry flour here and there, and that’s okay. Add the berries, if you’re using them, and stir to incorporate. Don’t overmix—a bit of negligence yields a nicer texture. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown and a tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Transfer the tin to a rack and let the muffins rest for 5 minutes, then lift them out of the tin and onto the rack.

TO FINISH THE MUFFINS (OR NOT): If you’re going to add curd or marmalade, now’s the moment, while the muffins are still hot. Brush them lightly with the curd or marmalade and allow them to sit for at least 15 minutes before serving. Or, if you’d like to ice them, wait until they reach room temperature and then drizzle over as much icing as you’d like—I usually use the tip of a spoon to do this.

STORING: Muffins are best eaten soon after they’re made. However, you can keep them covered at room temperature overnight; if you keep them longer, split and toast them (provided you haven’t topped them). Do that, and you might want to butter them. If you haven’t topped the muffins with curd, marmalade or icing, you can freeze them in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

 

Excerpted from BAKING WITH DORIE: Sweet, Salty, & Simple © 2021 by Dorie Greenspan. Photography © 2021 by Mark Weinberg. Reproduced by permission of Mariner Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.

 

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