Every now and then, I’ll see a recipe title and I will know, instantly, that not only will I make that recipe, but that I will love the end result. That is exactly what happened with these muffins. Their recipe comes from Baked Elements: The Importance of Being Baked in 10 Favorite Ingredients, the amazing cookbook by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. The first time I leafed through the book, as soon as I saw the words “lemon,” “cornmeal,” and “pistachio” together in the title, I immediately bookmarked it.
If I remember correctly, it was the first recipe I tried from that cookbook and I wasn’t mistaken. The end result was indeed as great as I thought it would be. These are not super sweet muffins. They are not giant, moist, cakey muffins, like those you’ll find at your grocery store. They are almost hearty. They are slightly tangy, with a satisfying crunch from the cornmeal and a finishing nuttiness from the pistachios on top. They make a great breakfast but an even better snack in the afternoon with some hot tea.
Lemon Cornmeal Pistachio Muffins – From Baked Elements: The Importance of Being Baked in 10 Favorite Ingredients
Makes 12 muffins
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice
zest of 1/2 lemon
3 oz unsalted butter (3/4 stick), melted and cooled
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
In a food processor, pulse the pistachios until they are coarsely chopped. Remove 1/4 cup of the chopped pistachios and set aside. Continue to process the remaining pistachios in the food processor until they are almost powdery.
Preheat the oven to 400º F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan (or use paper cups to line it).
In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Add the sour cream, the lemon juice, the zest and the butter and whisk them until they are combined.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour cornmeal, sugar, salt, the powdery pistachios, and the baking powder. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in it. Fold everything together until just mixed. Don’t overmix them.
Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full and sprinkle the tops with the coarsely chopped pistachios. Bake for about 12-15 minutes until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Transfer the pan on a wire rack and let it cool for 10 minutes. Take the muffins out and serve immediately or let them cool completely and store them in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap for 2 days. They also freeze very well.