I can never resist making jam when summer fruits are in season, but we don’t actually eat that much of it, so it accumulates in the larder till I give it away or cook with it. This recipe, based on one in Nadine Abensur’s Cranks Bible, used up most of a four-year-old jar of marmalade. American-style muffins, but unlike those, these are not over-sweet; the only sweetener is the marmalade plus a little maple syrup, and my home-made marmalade is true bitter-orange marmalade. The crunchy topping is interesting too.
You can use this as a basic muffin mix, replacing the marmalade with other not-too-sweet preserves, or fresh or frozen berries. Also, if you are like me and always have sourdough starter hanging around, try replacing part of the flour and buttermilk with it (see recipe for details).
300g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
100 ml buttermilk (or half milk and half plain yogurt)
2 tbsp orange juice
4 tbsp maple syrup
100g butter, melted
For the topping:
30g brown sugar
30g flaked almonds
Note: If using sourdough starter, add 100g starter with the buttermilk, reducing flour to 250g and buttermilk to 50 ml.
Butter and lightly flour 12-16 muffin tins (or line with paper cases) and preheat the oven to 190C. This made 16 muffins in my tins, but you could make mini ones. Lightly toast the flaked almonds in a dry pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk, marmalade, maple syrup, orange juice, and starter if using. Stir in the melted butter. Pour this into the flour mixture and using a large metal spoon fold together very lightly, just until there’s no visible dry flour. Dollop into the muffin tins. Mix together the topping ingredients and drop a small amount (less than a teaspoon) on top of each muffin.
Bake for about 25 minutes, until the muffins are risen and lightly coloured and the top is bubbling. Test with a skewer if necessary; do not overcook! Cool for a few minutes in the tin, then place on a wire rack.