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Author Notes: This is based on David Leibovitz's recipe, who adapted it from the delicious muffins 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 match with Marsala, for a little crunch. Currants are optional, but lend a tiny, fruity/winy note. Now that I think of it, the combination of olive oil, citrus, Marsala and currants sounds a little Sicilian.
I’d happily eat these rich, dense muffins with an espresso as dessert too.
- 1 1/3 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (use a fruity one)
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup mixed: half Marsala and half orange juice
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange (or lemon) zest
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup dried currants (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- 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.)
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