January 1st 2010, Joan H. Busken passed from this world, and into a better one. The thing she left behind? A legacy.
My Nana. Ever since that day, I find out many thing about Nana that has made me realize that she and I were more alike than I knew. Sure, I adopted some of her loves as I grew, knowing that a small part of it keeps her alive in some way, but for the most part, self-awareness. One of those loves; lemons. It’s in the blood.
During this recent pregnancy, I drank a gallon of lemon water a day. I didn’t want anything else. All other drinks have been ruined. Nothing else can quench my thirst. LEMONS! You would think that much lemon would satisfy any nerve of craving left in my body. No. I can’t enough of it. Just like Nana.
Example: a staple at her dinner table, that actually never left (it sat next to the salt and pepper shakers) was lemon pepper. To be clear, I like REAL lemon flavor. None of this synthetic crud that someone thought they could replicate from a machine. Uhnothankyou. It needs to be real lemons, and it needs to POW me in the face. Let me introduce to you, the lemon muffin of all lemon muffins. The Lemon Loaf Muffin.
This pastry. Ok. I honestly don’t know where to begin. It has so many flavor levels. Slightly tart, sweet, and then it Ross Gellar “Unagi"s you in the face.
I usually have some sort of self control when it comes to my relationship between me and my oven. Usually I bake my cookies in small batches to ensure I don’t waste them before they go bad. Usually. When I baked these? I may or may not have had 4 within an hour… It has lemon in it. That groups it near the fruit section in the “outdated” food pyramid… right?
They make my mouth water. They are quite literally mouthwatering. They are addicting. I couldn’t stop thinking about them. A part of me felt guilty, the other part was marine-drill-sergeant screaming at me
THATTHEENDOFTHEWORLDCOULDCOMEATANYTIMEANDWOULDIRATHERBESKINNYORWOULDIRATHERHAVETHISMUFFININMYBELLY. I’ve never been to boot camp, but I know to listen to drill sergeants.
If I could have a wish (I would ask for an infinite amount of wishes, obvi), I would wish that I could have one of these for the rest of my darn life.
I think Nana tries to Patrick Swayze “Ghost” my body just so she can have a taste of these delicious little gems. What am I saying. She’s in heaven, probably laying on a whole pile of them, and laughing at me who still has to bake them down here on earth. I guess it’ll have to do for now. I won’t complain!
- The Wife
Mouthwatering Lemon Loaf Muffins
A multi-level lemon experience, contained in a muffin.
For the cake
1 1/2 cups AP flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup sour cream (I made my own quick version which is 1 cup of horizon heavy cream and 1 Tbsp of lemon juice - let sit for 5 minutes)
1 cup sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup oil
For the simple syrup
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
For the glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line your muffin tins. (I didn't have any muffin liners at the time so I tore off square (ish) pieces of parchment paper and lightly sprayed the pan and the liner, just to be safe. They came out very eclectic. I loved it.)
Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together your "sour cream", sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly pour wet ingredients into the dry. Stir until combined. Because, why wouldn't you?
After well incorporated, fold in oil until combined.
Pour or plop into muffin tin/liners/parchment paper, having the batter fill 1/2-3/4 of the way up. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean.
While your waiting for it to bake, combine the ingredients for the simple syrup in a small sauce pan and cook until sugar is dissolved and solution is clear. Let cool.
After the muffins are done, let them cool for a couple minutes before removing from the pan. Place them of a level surface. Using a toothpick or chopstick, pokes a bunch of holes into the muffins. At first I tried to make them look all fancy. Don't worry about it. Poke away.
Very carefully, spoon the simple syrup over the muffins, allowing the mixture to get soaked up. Try to distribute as evenly as possible.
Let muffins fully cool.
When you're ready to ice (when they're cooled), whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle over top. And then ohmygosh devour!