The star ingredient for these muffins is my very own ‘marmie’ (orange marmalade). The muffins are light and sweet with ribbons of orange peel running throughout. They are topped with a pine nut and cardamom spiced streusel which adds a crunchy texture. I’m in love with this creation, especially since it puts my many jars of marmalade to good use.
I’ve been thinking about this recipe for a few days, determined to find a use for my marmalade. I toyed with the idea of using it as a center for the muffin but was concerned whether it would just melt away. I considered combining it with cream cheese to create and a creamy orange center. At the end, I decided to stir the marmalade into the batter and create a strong orange flavor in the muffins with bits of sweet orange peel scattered throughout.
The pine nut streusel came to me as I was trying to figure out how to jazz these muffins up a bit more. Orange muffins sound great, but not all that exciting on their own. I recently made an orange icing for an orange cake, but decided it would be repetitive if I went down the icing path. Streusel came to mind and then I remembered there were pine nuts in my pantry.
Usually, cinnamon is my spice of choice in baked goods. I reached for the jar and then realized I hadn’t used my newly purchased cardamom. The mix of orange with pine nuts and cardamom intrigued me. The three flavors seemed as though they would blend nicely together, so I gave it a shot. I was not disappointed with the end result. Cardamom has a fresh pine-like flavor, or at least I think so :-) You get a hint of it mixed with the toasty rich taste of the pine nuts. Both the spice and nuts mixed perfectly with the orange muffins.
Heaven. Simply, wonderful. The aroma coming from the oven was overpowering and I knew I was on to something magically good. The muffins rose up beautifully and the streusel (heavily sugar based) created a sweet crust on top. I considered going with a more flour-based streusel to make it more like shortbread crumbles. I might try this next time, but enjoyed the crispy coating this streusel created.
After the muffins cooled (and I had eaten one), I took the photos. As I finished cleaning up, the realization hit me that I had so many muffins (and, I still had a polenta cake on the counter). To make matters worse, I recently froze an entire orange cake since there was no way we could eat it. Seriously, I’m baking way more than two people can consume and I’m not sure what I’m going to do.
Fortunately, my Foodsaver came to the rescue and I sealed a few muffins for freezing. There’s a limit to how much our freezer can hold though, so this method won’t last for long.
For now, the majority of muffins are frozen. I will make them again and play with the recipe some more, but overall it’s pretty solid and good as-is.
I base most of my muffin recipes off from my great-grandmother’s recipe and find that it never fails. Below you find the details for making these muffins, if you try them let me know!
Orange marmie muffins
1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla
Cardamom pine nut streusel
1/2 cup pine nuts, half of them chopped finely
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
2 tablespoons butter, softened
When making muffins, I don’t follow alot of procedure. Muffin batter is pretty forgiving and I’m not one to fuss around. Add the dry muffin ingredients to a mixing bowl, add wet ingredients, and stir to combine. Simple! Pour into a greased muffin tin, filling each muffin cup 2/3 full.
For the streusel, use a fork (or your fingers) to mush the ingredients together. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon over the top of each muffin.
Bake the muffins in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until the muffins test done. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the muffin pan. Makes 12 muffins.