The tangerine tree outside my bedroom window is in full bloom, with lots of bright orange-hued fruit hanging amongst its branches. There’s so much beautiful citrus available right now, I couldn’t resist incorporating two different juices into this recipe. I decided to make Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with a sweet citrus glaze and wheels of candied tangerine on top. This pound cake recipe can be used to make a molded Bundt cake or traditional loaf, as well — it all depends what you are in the mood for. I tend to like individual cakes or muffins as they not only promote portion control, but I find them more visually pleasing, as well.
Meyer lemons are native to China and are thought to be a cross between a true lemon and a mandarin orange. Meyers are sweeter and less acidic than true lemons and have a slightly rounder shape. Since they are part mandarin orange, I knew they would pair nicely with the tangerines from my tree, as tangerines are very closely related to mandarins.
Aside from the widely known vitamin C that most citrus fruits provide, poppy seeds also have some health benefits that you might not be aware of. Their undeniably nutty flavor is due to the fact that about 50% of their composed net weight is fatty acids and essential volatile oils. They have lots of oleic acid, which helps lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol). They are also high in fiber and B-complex vitamins, as well as minerals like iron, copper, calcium, zinc and potassium.
Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake
(Makes 12 muffins or 1 standard loaf)
3 tablespoons buttermilk
3 large eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
¼ cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the pan.
2. Combine buttermilk, eggs and vanilla in small bowl.
3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, lemon zest and poppy seeds in bowl of stand mixer.
4. Mix dry ingredients, butter and half of egg mixture until well combined. Scrape down sides and add remaining egg mixture. Increase speed of mixer and blend until combined.
5. Scoop into loaf pan or muffin tray. Bake 50 to 55 minutes for loaf or 25 to 30 minutes for muffins, or until a wooden toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool.
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon fresh Meyer lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh tangerine juice
1. Mix ingredients together until smooth and well combined. Add more juice if needed to obtain desired consistency.
2. Pour glaze over loaf or muffins when they are almost completely cooled.
Candied Tangerine Wheels
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
3 to 4 tangerines sliced thinly into wheels
1. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan.
2. Add tangerine wheels and cook for 40 to 45 minutes until translucent.
3. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before placing on top of loaf or muffins.