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Blueberry and orange muffins

With Simon Holst

From a historical perspective, muffins seem to have 'come from nowhere' to claim a definite (and well deserved) place in our National baking repertoire! Everybody seems to love them, and blueberry muffins remain the archetype! The addition of a little orange zest and juice to these gives an interesting little twist on the familiar, really freshening them up and bringing out the flavour of the berries but can be omitted if you want. We like the crunchy cinnamon sugar topping, but it's not essential.

For 12 regular-size muffins:


2 cups standard flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
zest of 1/2 orange
100g butter
1/2 cup plain or fruit flavoured yoghurt
1/2 cup orange juice
1 large egg
1 - 1 1/2 cups blueberries*
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon


*Use frozen free-flow blueberries when fresh ones are not available. To stop frozen blueberries staining the batter, use them before they thaw completely.

Heat oven to 220C (or 210C fanbake) with the rack just below the middle.

Sieve the first five (dry) ingredients into a fairly large bowl.

In another container warm butter until melted, then add the yoghurt, orange juice and egg, and beat to mix thoroughly.

Prepare fresh or partly frozen berries, then tip the liquid and fruit into the bowl with the dry mixture. Without overmixing, fold everything together. Flour should be dampened, not smooth. Berries should keep their shape.

Divide the mixture evenly between 12 regular muffin pans that have been well coated with non-stick spray. Combine the remaining cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle this over the tops if desired.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until muffins spring back when pressed. (Muffins made with frozen berries will take about 5 minutes longer.)

(TX: 23 August 2011)