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Marion Cunningham's Fresh Ginger Muffins

Marion Cunningham's Fresh Ginger Muffins
One of the best muffin recipes ever, this is from the author of The Breakfast Book and The Supper Book and the person we must thank for revising The Fannie Farmer Cookbook for our generation.

Ingredients:

  • 1 piece unpeeled fresh ginger (4 to 5 oz.)
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room
     temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 375ºF. Butter standard muffin tins.

Cut the unpeeled ginger into large chunks. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process until it is finely minced. You should have about 1/4 cup.

In a small saucepan, combine the ginger and
1/4 cup of the sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar melts and the mixture is hot; this takes only about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool until tepid.

In a small bowl stir the lemon zest and the 3 Tbs. sugar. Let stand for a few minutes, then add to the ginger mixture. Stir and set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir and toss together the flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until blended. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the buttermilk and mix until blended. Then add the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Stir in the ginger-lemon mixture.

Spoon into the prepared muffin tins, filling each cup about three-fourths full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in the tins for 1 minute, then remove.
Makes 16 standard muffins.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library Series, Muffins & Quick Breads, by John Phillip Carroll (Time-Life Books, 1993).