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Raspberry-Lemon Muffins

The sweetness of raspberries pairs well with the tartness of lemons in these tender, colorful muffins. If fresh berries are out of season, frozen berries will still yield a delicious result. It is important to not overmix the batter, which causes the gluten in the flour to develop, producing long tunnels in the finished muffins.

Ingredients:

  • Unsalted butter for pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup canola or corn oil
  • 1 1/3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Butter 12 standard muffin cups or line with paper liners.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

To make the batter by hand, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk until blended. Add the oil, brown sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla and almond extract and whisk just until blended. Add the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula just until moistened. Do not overmix. Fold in the raspberries.

To make the batter with an electric mixer, in a large bowl, combine the eggs and milk and beat on low speed just until blended. Add the oil, brown sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla and almond extract and beat just until blended. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed just until moistened. Do not overmix. Fold in the raspberries with a rubber spatula.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each to within 1/4 inch of the rim. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 minutes if using fresh raspberries or 25 to 30 minutes if using frozen raspberries.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes, then turn them out onto the rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Makes 12 muffins.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Breakfast and Brunch, by Georgeanne Brennan, Elinor Klivans, Jordan Mackay and Charles Pierce (Oxmoor House, 2007).