Cranberry + orange is one of my favourite flavour combinations especially when baked into breakfast sweets such as muffins, scones, and quickbreads.
These are modified from this recipe using ingredients that I had on hand. Since I did not have oranges or orange juice, I substituted in seasonal mandarin oranges.
After the oranges were zested I peeled them, blended the flesh, and "juiced" them through a fine sieve. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
They are an atypical muffin in that they are tender and fluffy, more like a cake. The mandarin orange is a delicate citrus touch that builds on your tongue.
I started eating one whilst typing the last paragraph. It's gone now ... and I'm a little sad.
Cranberry Mandarin Muffins
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
- zest and juice from 4 mandarin oranges
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup homemade brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 cups frozen cranberries
- 1 Tbsp spiced sugar (sugar + cinnamon + nutmeg)
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a muffin pan with eight paper liners. (You can make 12, they will just be smaller.)
- In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.
- In a liquid measuring cup combine orange zest and juice, oil, sugar, and egg. Whip it real good. I used an immersion blender, you can use a whisk. Just as long as it's very smooth.
- Add cranberries to flour mixture. Toss to coat the berries in flour.
- Pour wet stuff into dry stuff, fold in just until everything is moistened.
- Dish equal portions into paper liners.
- Sprinkle spiced sugar on tops.
- Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
- Allow to cool in pan for a few minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely or set on a pretty plate for immediate consumption.
No joke, The Cranberries just played on my Pandora No Doubt station.