This is a none-too-sweet, subtly flavored, old-fashioned muffin. By old-fashioned, I mean that it’s not filled with 14 cups of sugar per muffin. Seriously, a really sweet “muffin” is a cupcake. And if that’s what you want, just order a stinkin’ cupcake. And by old-fashioned, I also mean that it’s not the size of a basketball. This is a muffin meant to serve one, not an entire kindergarten class.
Ground cherries do not have an oomphy, up-front flavor. Rather, they are more delicate-tasting, with tropical notes. The lime, also fairly subtle, adds a bit of tang. I like these with a cup of herbal tea in the afternoon. And, if well wrapped, the muffins freeze beautifully.
Makes 12 muffins
What You’ll Need
- two bowls, one large and one smaller
- measuring cups, solid and liquid
- measuring spoons
- spoons for mixing
- grater (Microplane#&174 or a box grater)
- 12-cup muffin tin
- muffin/cupcake liners
- small saucepan
- pastry brush
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 5 Tbsp sugar, divided
- 1 Tbsp baking powder, preferably non-aluminum like Rumford
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large egg, beaten lightly
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- grated zest of 1 lime
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup half-and-half
- 1 cup ground cherries, husked, rinsed, and dried
- 3 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
How to Make the Muffins
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).
- Place a cupcake liner in each muffin cup of your muffin tin. Alternately, you can grease the cups with butter.
- Place the flour, 3 Tbsp of the sugar, the baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and mix well.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave.
- In a smaller bowl, add the egg, vanilla extract, buttermilk, half-and-half, butter, and lime zest, again mixing well.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and quickly mix together. Take care not to overmix the batter—it’s okay if you see a few dry spots.
- Carefully mix in the ground cherries. The batter will be stiff.
- Divide equally into the muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- While the muffins are baking, make a light lime glaze. Put 3 Tbsp of water, 2 Tbsp of sugar, and 1 Tbsp of lime juice in a small saucepan. Over medium heat, stir until the sugar is dissolved. Let the mixture come to a boil, and boil for about 4 minutes, reducing it somewhat—it’ll become a syrupy glaze.
- When the muffins are done, remove them and place on a rack. Lightly brush the tops with the lime glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature.