My mouth was watering for an orange-raisin-nut muffin made with orange marmalade. I had a jar of real English marmalade in the fridge that I bought to make Nigella Lawson's marmalade glaze. Real English marmalade is made with Seville oranges that are bitter, producing the characteristic bitter-sweetness that it’s known for. Dundee Three Fruits Marmalade is made with lemons, grapefruit and Seville oranges, for a more complex bitter-sweetness that is quite pleasing. (American-made marmalades, by contrast, use regular sweet oranges, producing marmalades that taste nothing like the real thing.)
I started experimenting. My first muffin, made with oil, was absolutely delicious. I rated it a 9 out of 10. It was tender, nicely sweet, and had a wonderful albeit indescribable flavor. But how could I call it a marmalade muffin when there was no discernible marmalade flavor? I tried again, using more marmalade and more nuts and raisins. The flavor of this second muffin was great, but there were too many nuts and raisins, the texture was coarser, and the muffins did not crown as nicely as the first.
My third try, however, was magic! Using butter for the fat, more orange zest, less nuts and raisins and some white whole wheat flour produced a muffin with a slightly crisp crust, moist and tender but sturdy crumb and a hint of marmalade flavor. Brushing some of the marmalade butter onto the hot muffin tops accented the marmalade flavor. But when the marmalade butter is spread on these muffins, they really come alive. The sweetness of the muffin complements the bitterness of the marmalade, making one delicious muffin that you will want more of. This one is definitely a keeper.
|Marvelous Marmalade Muffins with Marmalade Butter |
Source: Judy’s Kitchen
Rating: 10 out of 10
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1/3 cup raisins (or dried fruit of choice)
1 Tbsp. orange juice concentrate + 1 Tbsp. water
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. English marmalade, divided use
3/4 cup soft butter + 1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. white whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans
1 Tbsp. orange zest
2/3 cup sugar (I used 1/3 cup sugar + 1/4 tsp. NuStevia)
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
3 Tbsp. low-fat buttermilk
2 Tbsp. Greek yogurt
In small saucepan, heat the raisins with the orange juice concentrate and water. Bring to a boil; off heat; cover. Let raisins steep for 1/2 hour. In the meantime, make the marmalade butter. Mix together 3/4 cup each of room temperature marmalade and soft butter.
Heat oven to 425F. Grease a 6-cup muffin tin. In large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in pecans.
In medium bowl, whisk together remaining 2 Tbsp. marmalade, orange zest, sugar, 1/4 cup cooled melted butter and vanilla till smooth. Whisk in egg, milk and yogurt till smooth. Pour liquid mixture over dry ingredients and mix lightly with a spoon or spatula till barely combined. Stir in drained raisins.. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin cups, dividing batter equally.
Place in oven; close door; reduce heat to 375F; bake for 19-22 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted in center returns with just a few crumbs. Immediately brush each muffin top twice with some of the marmalade butter. Cool in pan for 5 minutes.
Spread hot or warm muffins with some marmalade butter. Yield: 6 muffins