There is something very magical about walking into your back yard, plucking a juicy ripe orange off the tree and then using it immediately in a recipe. I usually take it off the tree to eat directly because my oranges are sweet and seedless and perfect as they are, but this time I was on a mission to bake. These fruity orange and pecan muffins are amongst the most delicious I’ve eaten in a while and the recipe is incredibly quick and easy.
A long-time friend and reader of Drizzleanddip shared this recipe with me via Instagram recently and it immediately piqued my interest. Pretty much all the ingredients get banged into a food processor, including a whole unpeeled orange and that is all that it takes. I love nothing more than a recipe that promises so little work, plus the idea of using a fresh whole orange was irresistible to me. Beryl also mentioned that these orange & pecan muffins were a huge hit in her circle of friends so on Sunday I whipped up my first batch while padding around in my pj’s and slippers and was astounded at how effortless they were to make.
I can always tell how a baked thing will turn out by the taste of the batter and this one was particularly good. Ok, I admit I’m rather obsessed with the flavour of orange in sweet recipes and desserts. I have so many in my cookbook sweet and I adore anything fruity in general, so this is definitely up my street. I always keep a stash of nuts in my freezer to prevent them from going rancid and I also foraged out a bag of mixed raisins and sultanas leftover from my Christmas baking. These went into the mix frozen and the double blades on my Breville food processor ground them up quite finely so you don’t particular detect them. As a result, these muffins have a smooth cake-like crumb vs a chunky one so I’m toying with the idea of adding additional whole bits in next time for texture. I think this is an excellent recipe to play around with and adapt to your taste. The orange is strong but not overpoweringly so, and surprisingly there is no hint of bitterness despite using all the skin and pith. It is important to use seedless oranges though and ones that are perfectly ripe, sweet and juicy.
I didn’t do much tweaking to the recipe except converting some of the measurements from volume to weight, and I used brown sugar instead of white. I also reserved some of the nuts to sprinkle on top because I like a nutty top.
Recipe – makes 12 muffins – slightly adapted from and with great thanks to Beryl Alexander
- 1 whole seedless orange weighing 200gms (cut pieces of skin off around the stalk & bottom end until you get to exactly the weight)
- 1 cup sugar – white or brown
- 1 free-range egg
- ½ cup raisins, sultanas, or a combination of both (or Christmas cake fruit mix)
- 70 – 80gms pecan nuts (50gms in the mix and the rest reserved for the top)
- 100gms melted butter
- ½ cup milk
- 250gms flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F
Weigh-off your whole orange cutting off pieces until you get to 200gms. Cut the orange into 4 and put it into the bowl of your food processor with 1 cup of sugar. Blend until smoothish.
Add the egg, milk, raisins, pecan nuts and melted butter and blitz until combined.
Add the flour, baking powder and bicarb to the bowl and pulse briefly until combined. Remove the blade and scrape down the side of the bowl.
Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, divide the batter evenly between 12 muffins – preferably lined with paper liners. You can also spray your muffin tin lightly with cooking spray.
Bake for 20 – 22 minutes until springy to the touch and golden brown.
Find me on Instagram