According to one of my most treasured books, ´Fifty Plants that Changed the Course of History´, lemon verbena was used to make scent, which I imagine was dabbed on the handkerchiefs of senoritas to disguise the stink of Spanish streets of the 1700´s. (to be honest I’ve smelt a few bad Spanish streets recently). If you’ve never smelt lemon verbena it´s very lemony smell almost verging on a lemon sherbet flavour and it´s gorgeous. Pop the leaves in hot water and you’ve got yourself a pretty authentic Moroccan lemon tea, but on this occasion, I´m adding lemon verbena to my lemon zest muffins so that they really pack a lemon punch. Perfect for a Summer´s day treat.
I was given a branch of lemon verbena which was bought from the local farmers market here in San Miguel de Abona, Tenerife. I made tea with some of the leaves and had loads left over, so dried the leaves before putting them into the muffins. ( the dry atmosphere in Tenerife is perfect for drying herbs) . I’ve used a pretty basic muffin recipe and added lemon zest and pumpkin seeds and glazed the muffins with icing sugar mixed with lemon juice.
LEMONY LEMON VERBENA MUFFINS
makes 12 – small / medium muffins
Pre heat oven to 180-200c
Takes 30 minutes to make
- 200g self raising flour
- 100g raw cane sugar
- 60g vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 100ml semi skimmed milk
- zest of 2 lemons
- 30g icing sugar (for the juicy lemony glaze)
- handful of pumpkin seeds (optional – you can use poppy seeds or sesame seeds also)
- you will need muffin cases
1. Beat the egg in a large bowl
2. Add the oil and milk together into the bowl and beat lightly…. don´t over beat or your muffins will be ´heavy´. (…nobody likes a heavy muffin!)
3. Add the sugar to the bowl and whisk until you get light bubbles
4. Sift the flour into the bowl and mix until the mixture is smooth
5. Stir in the lemon zest and pumpkin seeds
6. Divide the mixture into the 12 muffin cases equally so that the muffins are equal size when cooked.
7. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
for the glaze…While the muffins are still warm, take a cocktail stick (or similar) and poke holes into the muffins and spoon over a mixture of icing sugar mixed with lemon juice until it is smooth.
…right, where´s the teapot?