Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Recipe #59: Bridge Creek Triple Ginger & Lemon Zest Muffins

I first had these muffins at the Boardman House, a lovely B&B in Townshend, Vermont, probably 15 years ago.  Boardman House is right on the green, surrounded by a gazebo, church, general store and a few lovely houses.   The setting is, of course, Americana at its best.   Sarah runs the B&B, and is an excellent host, cook and baker.  When she had this recipe out the night before, I was rather perplexed by the use of ginger and lemon together, but the flavors really work.  I have made these again and again, as they are simple, and not overly sweet or rich.  Over the years I have stepped up the recipe a  bit by also adding ground and crystallized ginger.  You may think that's an abundance of ginger, but it doesn't overpower, and along with the lemon zest, becomes a muffin with the most delicate of flavors.   The finer you chop the crystallized ginger, the less distinct it will become. 

4 oz unpeeled fresh ginger                                                   1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped                      2 cups flour
1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp sugar                              2 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt                                                                               1 stick butter, softened
1/4 tsp baking soda                                                                2 eggs
1/4 tsp ground ginger                                                            1/3 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
sugar for topping muffins

Preheat oven to 375.  Grease 12 cup muffin tin and an extra muffin tin (this makes 13...I tried 12 but the muffins baked over the side of the tin, making it hard to get them out) or line with cupcake liners.  Cut the fresh ginger into large chunks.  Chop fine in food processor (I use my mini Kitchenaid).  Scrape ginger out and put into a small skillet along with 1/3 cup sugar.  Cook over medium/low heat until sugar has melted and mixture is hot (a couple of minutes).  Remove from stove and let cool.  Put lemon zest, crystallized ginger and 3 tbsp sugar into ginger mixture.  Stir and set aside.  Place butter in mixing bowl and add remaining sugar.  Beat until smooth.  Add the lemon/ginger mixture, then the eggs, one at a time.  Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl.  Add alternately with the buttermilk mixture, ending with the flour.   Beat just until the whole thing comes together.   Fill 13 cupcake cups evenly (I use a scoop to start with).  Bake 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.   In a small bowl, put a few scoops of sugar.  As quickly after you get the muffins out of the oven as you can, release them from the tin and rub face-down in the sugar (this may take a few minutes depending on how much heat your fingers can stand).  Place muffins on cooling rack.  Bon appetit!

You can see a piece of the crystallized ginger here....




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