Lent begins in just a few days, and Lent always makes me think of my grandparents. My Hungarian-born grandma, Zella, fully embraced my Slovak-American grandpap Andy’s Easter traditions, and growing up just a few doors away from their house, I embraced those traditions as well. Except for eating pig’s feet, of course. Blegh.
Both of my grandparents are gone, but this time of year always brings them back to me, in the recipes and practices they taught me as a kid. My grandma made poppy seed roll every year for Easter, so any time I bake with poppy seed I think of her. I had about three-quarters of a jar of poppy seed filling left over from a previous recipe, and I decided to use it in these lemon curd muffins, which I adapted from a “Make it Mine” muffin recipe in my Better Homes & Gardens baking book. I went the lemon poppy seed route, but really kicked up the flavor with lemon curd, lemon extract, and poppy seed filling. I think Grandma Zella would be proud.
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup lemon curd
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- 1 cup poppy seed filling*
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract**
*You can make your own, but I always use Baker Poppy Seed Filling.
**If you don’t have lemon extract, substitute 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice and about 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest.
For the glaze
- 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners; my recipe yielded 21 muffins.
In a small bowl, stir together poppy seed filling and lemon extract; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; make a well in the center and set aside.
In a large glass measuring cup, combine eggs, lemon curd, milk, and vegetable oil and whisk with a fork to combine. Pour into the well in the dry mixture and stir to combine until just moistened; batter will be lumpy. Stir in poppy seeds.
Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of batter into prepared tins and spread gently so you have a fairly even layer of batter. Drop a scant 1 teaspoon poppy seed filling into each, then cover with another scoop of batter, filling about 2/3 full. Gently smooth batter so no filling is showing.
Bake for 15 minutes, until tops are golden brown and a cake tester inserted at the edge of the muffins comes out clean. Remove muffins from tins immediately and cool completely on a wire rack before glazing.
To make glaze, place powdered sugar, poppy seeds, lemon extract, and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl and stir to combine. Add remaining water if necessary, about 1/2 tablespoon at a time, stirring well after each addition; you want a consistency like thick honey.
Dip each muffin into the glaze, then allow glaze to set for a few minutes before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.