Let’s rewind the clock and relive the weekend for a little bit, shall we? On Friday night, James took me to see some gorgeous fireworks at his university. It was a loud, smoky and spectacular affair, with intense explosions of light rippling fervently across the sky. Of course, that was just the start of the weekend. No Saturday is complete without the lovely smell of homebaked goods wafting through your kitchen. In my case, it was the smell of crisp, buttery Anzac biscuits. Unfortunately, I fell sick soon after and felt miserable for the rest of the weekend. However, my painfully sore throat didn’t stop me from baking this wonderful batch of glazed orange and apricot jam muffins yesterday.
These are soft, pillowy, melt-in-your-mouth cake muffins with a hint of tangy orange, a burst of syrupy apricot jam and an army of crunchy poppy seeds. After baking, they are generously painted with a sweet warm glaze for a gem-like sheen. These cute little tea cakes make for an incredibly satisfying mid-afternoon snack, especially when accompanied with a steaming cup of coffee or tea.
While the making of these golden, polka dotty muffins require a little bit of time and effort, the entire process is as easy as ABC. Once the flour, almond meal, poppy seeds and sugar are combined, you melt your cubes of butter and apricot jam in a small saucepan on low heat until a smooth, glossy mixture is formed. While this concoction is left to cool, the eggs, milk and orange zest are whisked together until foamy. Fold this mixture and the melted butter-jam into the dry ingredients and you’re all set to fill those muffin cases!
Once baked to a nice golden-orange hue, the tops of these hot muffins are then brushed with some additional apricot jam for that nice, shiny finish. This apricot jam glaze is, of course, purely optional. But it gives the muffins that extra sweet-sticky tang that makes you want to smack your lips after every bite. I wouldn’t miss it for the world!
Worth noting is the soft and fluffy texture of these muffins, which I would like to attribute to the addition of milk and almond meal to the recipe. Many are already aware of the properties of almond meal in baking; the nut flour is often used to produce incredibly moist, tender and sometimes crumbly cakes and cookies. I’d say it works very well in this recipe to create delicate, cottony soft muffins!
While I very much enjoy these muffins just the way they are — soft and sticky and finger-lickin’ good — I’ll admit they are a little on the sweet side, so feel free to cut down on the sugar. Also, feel free to tweak the amount of poppy seeds you want! Their pleasant, nutty crunch makes them quite addictive!
Orange & Apricot Jam Poppy Seed Muffins
2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1/4 cup raw caster sugar
1 cup apricot jam*
125g unsalted butter, cubed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup low fat milk
3 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
Additional apricot jam* (about 3 tablespoons), for glazing muffins
* I used Australian-made Beerenberg Apricot Jam, a wonderfully sweet and sticky home style fruit jam.
- Preheat oven to 200°C and line a standard 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, almond meal, poppy seeds and sugar. Make a well in the middle of the mixture and set aside.
- Melt the butter and the apricot jam in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously until ingredients are combined. Leave to cool.
- Using a stand mixer on high speed, combine the eggs, milk and orange zest until foamy.
- Pour mixture into the well of the dry ingredients, then add the jam and butter mixture.
- Gently fold mixture with a spatula until just combined. Leave the batter slightly lumpy; take care not to overmix!
- Fill muffin cases about 3/4 full and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden.
- Remove from oven and let muffins sit in tray while you heat up some additional apricot jam for the glaze (you can do this with a microwave for about 15-20 seconds).
- Brush a generous amount of jam over the tops of the hot muffins.
- Transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool. Best eaten warm, the day they are made.