Although you may consider it a classic, nothing is more unique and versatile than the muffin tin. Its shape and size lends itself to many different concoctions, such as mini quiches, baby meatloaves and even delicately made lattice-top pies. Whether it’s just for that romantic cute factor or for something more functional, try these twists on two classics and warm up your kitchen just in time for spring.
Lemon Zucchini Muffins
The bright sparkle of lemon juice and zest combined with grated zucchini is a triumph of fresh flavor!
Prep: 5 minutes
Bake: 13-15 minutes
Makes 9 muffins
For the muffins
1¾ cup all-purpose flour
2½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 large zucchini, finely grated (about 1 cup)
For the icing
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon whole milk
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- For the muffins: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a non-stick muffin tin.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a separate, large mixing bowl, beat together the egg and sugar until well combined. Whisk in the lemon zest, vanilla and vegetable oil until well mixed.
- Whisk in half of the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and whisk. Then, whisk in the lemon juice followed by the rest of the dry mixture until just combined. Fold in the grated zucchini.
- Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, filling each well about 2/3 full. Fill any empty wells halfway with water. Bake the muffins for 13-15 minutes or until the tops are spongy and edges are lightly golden. Let cool 5 minutes before removing the muffins to a rack to cool completely before icing.
- For the icing: In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and lemon juice. Then, sift in the confectioners’ sugar and whisk vigorously until the glaze is thick and smooth. Using a spoon, drizzle the icing on the top of each muffin. Let set for 10 minutes before serving.
Handheld Lattice-Top Pies
Sweet and adorable, these mini pies are great with all of your favorite fillings, including cherry, blueberry and peach!
Prep: 15-20 minutes
Bake: 20-25 minutes
Cool: 20 minutes
Makes 12 mini pies
2 (2-pack) boxes premade pie dough, at room temperature
2 (21-ounce) cans preferred pie filling (or homemade recipe)
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup turbinado sugar (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a non-stick muffin tin and set aside.
- Working with a single dough round at a time, roll out the pie dough on a lightly floured work surface until it is about ¼ inch thick. Then, using a pastry cutter or a small mixing bowl or glass, cut out 12 circles, each 4 inches in diameter. (You will need to re-roll the dough.) Set extra dough aside.
- Press each circle into the well of the muffin tin, pressing out any extra air from the bottom. Leave a ¼-inch rim of dough at the top of each well.
- Spoon the pie filling into each well, filling each up to the brim. Do not overfill, as fruit fillings tend to bubble up.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the extra dough until it is 1/4 inch thick. Then, using a sharp knife, slice the dough into strips about 3x¼ inch strips. Starting at one side of a pie, lay a dough strip across the filled pie (north to south). Then, take a second strip and lay it perpendicular (east to west) to the first strip, creating an L shape. Take a third strip and lay it parallel to the first strip, leaving a ¼-inch gap between the strips. Repeat in this order, weaving the strips together over the pie, until the lattice covers the entire pie. You should need 7-8 strips per pie.
- Using your fingers or a fork, crimp the edges of the strips on the pie’s rim. Cut away any overhanging dough strips. Repeat steps 5-6 for each pie.
- Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the beaten egg on the top of the lattice tops. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar on top of each pie if using.
- Bake the pies for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden and the filling is just starting to bubble. Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove the pies to a rack to cool for another 15 minutes before serving.