April, spring has officially arrived. Istanbul will be again adorned with colourful tulip. Also, Adana, the south-east city, will host Orange Blossom Carnival. I wish I could go but I’ll give it a pass and wait for next year.
I have this tub of dried orange blossoms, a gift from an Iranian guest. I smell it whenever I need a pick me up or relaxation or as part of olfactory stimulation along with my other aroma kit.
Mediterranean cities in Turkey are famous for citrus fruits and people make jam with their peel. This is the most common ‘bitter orange’ jam called ‘turunc‘, whose appearance I adore.
Then there’s another citrus called ‘agac kavunu‘, which means ‘tree melon’. No, it’s not bergamot, but an entirely different ancient variety specific to Antalya.
When I went to the weekly market, I bought some oranges and blood oranges but too many of them! So I whipped up orange muffins with a slight twist, to make it worth to post about.
These muffins were so delicious and the fact that my MIL loved it so much and asked for a recipe is the darn proof.
They even look pretty, aren’t they? Though hubby said the orange slice topping was a bit annoying to eat. You can only put a quarter on each muffin if you like.
What’s unique about my recipe? It’s made of wholewheat, yogurt, orange blossom water and bitter orange jam, which I mentioned above. I love its aroma and its unique shape.
I added the peels into the batter along with a tiny bit of orange blossom water. After placing the thin orange slices on top of each muffin batter, I brushed it with the syrup from the jam. I thought about caramelising the orange slices and decorate later but they were so thin that they almost got caramelised during the baking.
These muffins might sound classic but sometimes we forget how good classic recipes are. My MIL even asked me to make a huge batch to share with her friends and so did hubby. I also thought they were bloody good!
Orange Poppy Seed Muffins with Orange
juice from 2 oranges + 1 lemon juice
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 cup yogurt
2 1/3 cups wholewheat flour (or normal)
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cups brown sugar (or white)
1 Tbsp, bitter orange jam or marmalade, chopped (or orange zest)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange blossom water(optional)
thinly sliced oranges, for garnish(optional) – you can quarter each slice if you like
marmalade syrup for brushing
1. Preheat oven to 190°C. Grease 12 hole muffin tins with melted butter. Squeeze the orange juice and add the blossom water and poppy seeds. Set aside while preparing the batter.
2. Whisk the melted butter, egg, and sugar well before adding the yogurt. Whisk briefly and sift the dry ingredients into the bowl.
3. Add the poppy-seed mixture, the marmalade or orange peels, and stir gently just to combine(do not overmix).
4. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin tins and top it with an orange slice. Put it into the even and reduce the heat to 175’C. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean.
5. Remove from oven and turn onto a wire rack and brush with the syrup and cool before serving.