Citrus Poppy Muffins With Candied Kumquats
Inspired by Huckleberry Cafe in Santa Monica, CA, these tiny muffins pack a bright citrus punch and a moist crumb spotted with crunchy poppy seeds. Once baked, they’re slathered with even more citrusy goodness and topped with adorably tiny candied kumquat rings. Make the most of citrus season and experiment with different varieties–like zest from a Buddha’s Hand lemon or the juice of a ruby red grapefruit!
for 12 servings
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 g)
- 1 cup water (240 mL)
- 5 kumquats, thinly sliced crosswise, seeds removed
Citrus Poppy Muffins
- nonstick cooking spray, for greasing
- 5 kumquats
- 4 tangerines
- 5 large meyer lemon
- 1 ¼ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 g), divided, plus 5 tablespoons
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour (215 g)
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1 ½ tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- Calories 196
- Fat 2g
- Carbs 39g
- Fiber 3g
- Sugar 28g
- Protein 4g
Estimated values based on one serving size.
- Make the candied kumquats: Prepare an ice bath in a medium bowl and set to the side with a medium fine-mesh strainer.
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil, then add the kumquats and blanch for 1 minute. Immediately pour through the fine-mesh strainer, then set the strainer with the kumquats in the ice bath to shock (this will help keep the bright orange color of the kumquats).
- In the same small pot, combine the sugar and water and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, 2–3 minutes. Add the kumquats and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 20–30 minutes, until the kumquats are soft and translucent. Use a small strainer or fork to remove the kumquats from the syrup and transfer to a wire rack to dry, making sure that none of the slices are touching. Let cool completely. Set the pot aside.
- Make the citrus poppy muffins: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Generously grease a standard or mini muffin tin with nonstick spray.
- Zest the kumquats, tangerines, and Meyer lemons into a small bowl. Set the citrus aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, 1 cup sugar, the salt, and citrus zest on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low speed and add the eggs and egg yolks, 1 at a time, mixing to incorporate between each addition.
- Turn the mixer off and add the flour, buttermilk, poppy seeds, vanilla, and baking powder. Mix on low speed until just barely combined; do not overmix.
- Use an ice cream scoop to scoop batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cavity half to three quarters of the way full.
- Bake the muffins until the edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 12–15 minutes for regular muffins or 8–11 minutes for mini muffins.
- Meanwhile, add the remaining 5 tablespoons of sugar, the zested kumquats and tangerines, and juice of the zested Meyer lemons to a blender. Blend on low speed until the mixture is a chunky purée.
- Pour the purée into the same pot used to candy the kumquats. Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook for about 5 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let steep until ready to use.
- Once the muffins are done, remove from the oven. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet and place this upside down on top of the muffins. Carefully flip the upside down to turn the muffins out of the pan while still hot, then quickly flip them right-side-up on the rack. Strain the citrus purée to remove the solids, then use a pastry brush to brush a thick layer of the purée on top of each muffin while they are still warm. Before the glaze dries, decorate the tops of the muffins with the candied kumquats.
- The muffins are best the day they are made, but any leftovers will keep tightly wrapped at room temperature for up to 2 days.
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