Lemon and pine nut muffins

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There was a bit of nose wrinkling at our place when I first floated the idea of lemon and pine nut muffins, but when they were ready; warm, sticky with lemon glaze, and topped with lightly toasted pine nuts, there was no shortage of testers, and plenty of positive feedback. I love the sweet nuttiness of pine nuts and they marry with lemon very well. I scattered a few tiny thyme leaves over the top of my muffins and lavendar petals would also be stunning for both their fragance and soft colour.

Makes 12 muffins

2 1/4 cups self-raising flour
3/4 cup raw caster sugar
125g butter, melted
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
finely grated zest of 2 lemons

Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts

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Preheat oven to 180 C. In a large bowl combine the flour, lemon zest, and sugar. In a small bowl mix together the melted butter, milk and vanilla and then, using a fork, add the eggs and mix until well combined. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix quickly with a fork until just combined. Do not over mix. The end result should look a little lumpy – it’s the secret to a tender muffin. Spoon the mixture into a 12 hole muffin tin lined with paper cases. Bake in the oven for around 20 – 25 minutes, until the muffins are well risen and lightly golden. While they are baking mix together the sugar and lemon juice. As soon as the muffins come out of the oven spoon the lemon and sugar mixture over the top of each one and then sprinkle each muffin with a few pine nuts.  They are delicious warm or cold, and will keep for a couple of days in an airtight container.

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