When my partner J-man and I moved into our house some 8 odd years ago, there was not much of home, or a garden, but there was a roof and four walls and out back, struggling for life, a tiny, little lemon tree. In the years since, the house has become a home and grown from two people to four. That tiny little lemon tree has been with us the whole way, and like us, it has grown and flourished and now produces an abundance of rich, colourful life each year. It reminds me of what can be achieved with a little effort, constant care and a whole lot of love.
I have been making a variation of this recipe for a long time now, only previously it was packed with wheat flour, greek yoghurt and white sugar. With blueberries being in season and on the list of foods I can eat right now and fresh lemons on hand, it made sense to rework this old favourite to see what I could make of it without the gluten, lactose or refined sugar. The original recipe can be found on the ever inspirational Smitten Kitchen and is absolutely divine!
In reworking this recipe, I swapped out the wheat flour with a little extra gluten free flour and a smidge of xanthan gum to keep it from crumbling. I really love lemon zest so did not skimp on this – the result is a gorgeous tang the compliments the sweetness of the blueberries and rich caramel of the unrefined sugar. The yoghurt adds a creaminess to the batter and makes these incredibly moist and delicious.
I am learning that when cooking with gluten free flour blends, adding a little extra baking powder gives extra lift and lightness to baked goods, so don’t fear being generous with it. One of my biggest fears when switching to gluten free was my baking turning out more like bricks, all heavy and powdery – thankfully that has not been the case as yet, though my success with baking gluten free bread is more like I feared. Small steps.
A mouth-watering, sticky sweet alternative to icing or frosting is this gorgeous sweet lemon syrup drizzle. When heated together the lemon and sugar fuse to create a gorgeous caramel coloured syrup that soaks into the muffins to add another dimension of moisture and flavour. Absolutely amazing when gently reheated and served with a dollop of vanilla yoghurt (lactose free of course) or a really good coffee.
I am so happy with the result of this transformation. So is the rest of the family. The kids did not hesitate to scoff these down, none-the-wiser to the changes made from the last batch I made.
Here’s how I tweaked them;
#glutenfree #lactosefree #norefinedsugar
- 1⅔ cups + 1 tablespoon gluten free plain flour - (I used my own preferred mix*, but a store bought mix will work just fine)
- 2 generous teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon of xanthan gum (optional)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup plain lactose free yoghurt**
- 1 cup sugar - (I use unrefined sugar such as Coconut of Rapadura, but you can use white sugar if you prefer)
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup light flavoured vegetable oil
- 1¼ cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 tablespoon unrefined sugar
- ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius (non fan forced).
- Line a 12 x 1 cup muffin tray with patty pans, or lightly grease each hole.
- Using a large mixing bowl, sift together 1⅔ cups GF flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt.
- In another bowl, whisk yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla extract and vegetable oil. Add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk until just combined..
- Coat the blueberries with remaining tablespoon of GF flour, and fold them gently into the batter. Using an ice cream scoop, dipped in hot water, add a scoop of batter to each muffin hole.
- Bake for 15 - 20 minutes. Muffins are cooked with a skewer placed in the centre comes out clean.
- In a small saucepan, over medium heat, cook the lemon juice and unrefined sugar until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is all liquid. (If you are using unrefined sugar, the melted sugar will turn the mixture to a caramel brown colour. White sugar will turn mixture clear). Set aside.
- Once muffins are cooked, allow to cool in the tray for at least 5 minutes before transferring them to cooling rack.
- Place cooling rack over a flat baking tray or similar.
- While the muffins are still warm, poke several holes in each one with a small skewer, then pour the lemon syrup drizzle over each of the muffins and allow it to soak in.
- Top with sifted icing sugar once cooled (optional)
1 cup sorghum flour (red or white)
1 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup nut meal (hazelnut, almond, macadamia)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum – (only use a maximum of 1 teaspoon if making a triple batch. Too much and your batter will be very rubbery)
** - you can use standard dairy yoghurt if you prefer. Most yoghurt is low in lactose anyway, but I just find I still react to some of them, so prefer to use Liddells Lactose Free Plain Yoghurt so I know I won't get an upset tummy!
So there they are, my version of Lemon, Yoghurt and Blueberry Muffins, another old favourite made new. I hope you like them as much as we do.
Cook! Eat! Enjoy!