January 08, 2011

Orange & Date Flecked Muffins

These are homely little muffins, but pack a fresh, orangey punch, thanks to using the whole orange - skin, pith, and all. They're not too sweet, either, so it doesn't feel like you're eating a cupcake (or one of those lethal coffeeshop-style gut-bomb muffins).

You do need a blender (or a good food processor), because chopping through both dates and orange peels is tough work.

Orange & Date Flecked Muffins
Adapted from allrecipes.com

1 orange (thin skinned is best)
3/4 cup 1% buttermilk
1/2 cup diced dates
1/4 cup butter
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.

Grease a 12-cup regular sized muffin tin (or spritz with canola spray).

Cut orange into eight pieces, and remove any seeds, as well as the thick strip of pith from the centre of the orange. Put the orange pieces into the blender with the egg, buttermilk, dates and butter. Blend thoroughly until mixture is thick, fairly smooth with flecks. It will look a bit like baby food.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cloves and ginger. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour the contents of the blender in all at once. Stir rapidly with a fork until any dry bits are gone. Don't worry about small lumps, though, the batter doesn't need to be smooth. Divide the batter between muffin cups.

Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes. Let stand in pan for five minutes, then remove to wire racks for cooling.

Store cooled muffins in a sealable container in the fridge to keep them fresh. You can also wrap them individually in plastic and freeze. Reheating a muffin for 15 seconds in the microwave works beautifully, and makes them taste oven-fresh.

Perfect for coffee breaks!


Lisa@ButteryBooks said...

I have never had a muffin that uses the whole orange...interesting!

Dawna said...

Hi Lisa - the whole orange approach is kind of novel, i agree, but really ups the fiber count.

I just made a batch of these with canola oil instead of butter, and they are beautiful! Slightly moister. I may go that way for future batches, too.