Spring is finally here! The temperatures are slowly going up, things are turning green and the farmer’s markets are starting to sell more local fruits and vegetables again. Hurrah!
I was talking to a friend a while back and she told me that her mom had never tried any vegan baking before, well no way was I having that! So I thought I would mix up some muffins to give her, no one should ever go through life without ever trying a vegan muffin, that’s just wrong. I wanted to make something bright, sunny and spring-y to go with the season and there are not many things that are sunnier then lemons. Lemons and blueberries are a match made in heaven, the sweet berries balance out the sourness of the lemons and leave you in a blissful state of nom nom nom.
To make things a little different I made up some lemon curd to use as a filling for the muffins, this was the first time I’ve ever tried making lemon curd before and it was super easy, and tasty I might add. Of course you could always just make the lemon curd for whatever else you can think of, tarts, cake filling, waffle topping, or even spread it on your morning toast if that’s how you roll. Same goes for the muffins, you can always just make them without the lemon curd filling, they’re pretty darn tasty either way, plus that leftover lemon curd is pretty dangerous to have lying around, especially if there are any stray spoons in the surrounding area.
BLUEBERRY LEMON CURD MUFFINS
- 1 1/3 cups unsweetened soy or almond milk
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of grated lemon zest
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup canola oil, or other light tasting oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
- 1/2 cup prepared lemon curd, chilled (recipe below)
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Pinch of salt
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons plain, full fat, non-dairy creamer or milk (I used coconut cream)
- 1 tablespoon non-dairy margarine
- Make the lemon curd by whisking together lemon juice, water, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan. With a very fine zester (I used a microplane), add lemon zest to mixture. Turn the burner under the saucepan up to medium, and whisk continuously until the mixture comes to a full boil (this takes about 10 to 15 minutes). Allow to boil for 1 minute undisturbed (the mixture should have noticeably thickened and started to turn clear), then remove from heat to cool.
- Add the non-dairy creamer and margarine and whisk until everything is well combined. Allow the lemon curd to thicken and cool in the saucepan until it reaches room temperature. Once cooled, pour it into a lidded container and refrigerate.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and grease a 12-cup regular muffin pan. In a medium bowl combine milk, lemon juice and lemon zest. Let stand until mixture curdles (about 5 minutes).
- In a large bowl mix together 2 cups of flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk sugar, oil and vanilla into milk mixture until well blended.
- Add wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir just until blended. In a small bowl, mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour to coat, and then fold the blueberries into the batter (this prevents them from sinking to the bottom).
- Divide half the batter evenly among the 12 prepared muffin cups, making a slight well in the centre of each one. Spoon 2 teaspoons of lemon curd into each well and then top with remaining batter. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over the tops of the muffins.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 24 minutes or until tops are golden brown and spring back when touched. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.