Orange Pomegranate Oat Muffins with Blood Orange Curd

While I couldn’t be more pleased that spring is around the corner, if we could ever get it to stop snowing in the Pacific Northwest, there are a few great things about winter that I’ll miss. Pomegranates and citrus fruit rank high on that list. I baked these muffins as something of a last hurrah for the chilly season. They have a delicate crumb, a crusty top, and this twist on classic Lemon Curd made with blood orange juice is luscious, tart, and comforting all at once.

Orange Pomegranate Oat Muffins

5 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
6 oz flavored yogurt (I used Tillamook Orange Creamsicle)
1/2 tsp finely minced orange zest
1/4 tsp orange oil
1 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup pomegranate arils

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
Beat butter, sugar, and egg together. Add yogurt, zest, and orange oil.
In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients thoroughly. Incorporate into the wet ingredients, being careful not to over-mix. Carefully fold in pomegranate arils.
Fill standard muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden-topped.

I tried a number of different Lemon Curd recipes before hitting upon the right variation for this Blood Orange Curd. In the end, my mother’s recipe won out. This was the first Lemon Curd I fell in love with, but I don’t usually make this version as it leaves me with a few extra egg whites on my hands. What, meringues? Me? Please.

Blood Orange Curd

1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons finely minced blood orange zest
1/4 cup blood orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
3 slightly beaten egg yolks

Combine sugar, cornstarch,  zest, juice, and butter in a small, heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until thickened and bubbling. Remove approximately 1/2 cup of the sauce and beat into the egg yolks. Return this mixture to the saucepan, and bring to a gentle, bubbling boil. Cook, stirring for two minutes more. I confess to adding one (just one!) drop of red food coloring; the egg yolk distorts the beautiful ruby red of the blood orange juice otherwise.

Be sure not to use Meyer lemons for this recipe, as the tartness of yellow lemons is needed to balance out the almost-sweetness of the blood orange juice.

Prepare a nice cup of tea and enjoy! The muffins aren’t half bad with a little pat of butter, too.

This is an earlier version of these two recipes. That single drop of food coloring makes as significant a difference in appearance as the use of only egg whites and a half orange juice, half lemon juice mix does in texture and flavor. Not these muffins didn’t get devoured, too, though…

Advertisements

How-to Tuesday: Five Minutes’ Peace

I’m experimenting with obligating myself to post more regularly by committing to posting on a theme for different days of the week. This began with Small Style Thursdays. Herewith begins my foray into How-to Tuesdays.

Five minutes of peace is an elusive goal for many new parents, and perhaps some not-so-new moms and dads as well. Here’s my favored procedure:

-Baby on hip, put the kettle on to boil and drop some Ginseng Oolong Tea* in a teapot.

-Set baby on the kitchen floor. Distract with measuring cups while you slice and plate a piece of the Pumpkin Pie with Apricot Preserves you managed to bake last night after the little one went to sleep.

-Before the water boils and gets too hot, pour a bit of (purified!) water into a bottle with some oatmeal cereal. Put the kettle back on. Settle the little one with her bottle. Pour tea.

-Waste precious moments of quiet time arranging tea and pie to photograph for posterity. Grab a spoon and mess with the whipped cream from a bottle so it looks like it might possibly be freshly whipped.

-Sit down to enjoy tea and pie. Realize that the tea is too weak, but the pie is heavenly. That’s OK, the tea is really just an excuse to eat pie in the morning. Get Spotify going for some mood music. Polish off slice of pie.

-Pour second round of hot water over tea leaves. Chase after escaped baby and re-settle her with her half-finished bottle while tea steeps.

-Savor second cup. Be sure to exhale slowly after each sip to appreciate the naturally sweet aftertaste.

-Aaaahhhhhh.

-Share pretend sips of tea with baby and groove to Spotify choices to distract the little one from “helping” you type up this post. Nobody promised five *consecutive* minutes of peace.

*It’s worth noting that the über-Chinese Ginseng Oolong Tea and classic American Pumpkin Pie make a great pair. The sweetness of the ginseng, only apparent in the aftertaste, complements rather than overpowers the sugary spiciness of the pie. I discovered Ginseng Oolong (人参乌龙茶) at a tiny dim sum joint in Guangzhou and it quickly became one of my favorite teas. It’s a great introductory tea for novice drinkers of loose-leaf tea…a stage I haven’t moved beyond myself.