These muffins are based on David Leibovitz's recipe, who adapted it from the delicious ones served for brunch at Maialino in NYC.
Their recipes call for a mixture of orange juice and Grand Marnier, but I use Marsala, which has a nice affinity with oranges. I also add walnuts, another good partner with Marsala, for a little crunch. Currants are optional, but lend a subtle fruity/winy note. Now that I think of it, the combination of olive oil, citrus, Marsala and currants is sounding a little Sicilian.
I’d happily eat these rich, dense muffins with an espresso as dessert too.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda, salt and sugar. In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil, orange juice/Marsala mixture, milk, eggs and orange zest.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until just combined - don't overmix. Fold in the walnuts and currants. (The batter will be thinner than most muffin batters; it’s okay if a few small lumps remain.)
Line a muffin pan with paper liners, and evenly distribute the batter so each cup is about ¾ full. Bake for around 35 minutes, or just until a tester in the center comes out clean and the tops are nicely browned. Remove from pan and let cool.
Good served warm or room temp. (They also freeze well.)