Fig, Lemon & Oat Muffins

With the arrival of (a very welcome) summer, finding the time to bake little whosits and whatsits to snack on becomes harder. When temperatures rise, who wants to sweat in front of a hot oven, when we could be sipping iced coffees out on the balcony? I begin to save baking for "occasions" - birthday cakes are a necessity, but morning muffins for two start to seem like a winter extravagance.

Not to wish ourselves back into The Winter from Hell, but a girl can start to miss a warm muffin and hot cup of coffee under a soft blanket. Luckily (silver lining here), June has brought drizzle, wind, and sub-50 degree temps, aka the perfect excuse to bake my breakfast and grab the French press.

On this particular morning, I was searching for a way to use up a carton of dried mission figs. I considered a coffee cake or loaf, but I was far too impatient for something that would take over 40 minutes to bake. So, of course, muffins! And what would balance the sweet, sticky figs but fresh lemon zest?

So off I went, chopping my figs and zesting my lemons, when I eyed my (gigantic) tupperware of homemade almond granola. Why couldn't the granola get in on this? It made the perfect crunchy topping! (If you happen to have some granola on hand, use it as is! But I've modified the recipe below assuming you don't, by quickly mixing together some almonds, oats, and brown sugar.)

Here's to a couple more chilly mornings to enjoy a freshly baked breakfast.

Fig, Lemon & Oat Muffins
makes 12 muffins
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup dried figs, chopped
  • 1/3 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 2 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In another bowl, combine eggs, yogurt, oil, milk, and lemon zest. With a spatula or wooden spoon, mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chopped figs.

Fill muffin tins 2/3 full with batter.

In a small bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, almonds, and oats. Sprinkle oat mixture evenly over muffin batter.

Bake for 18-22 minutes, until just starting to brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.