Catching up a bit from recent baking (and scholarly) triumphs, here is my latest Making-Over-Martha moment. The original recipe was called "Clementine-Vanilla Bean Quick Bread," from the November issue of Martha Stewart Living. I wanted to noodle around with this recipe for several reasons1. I still have a few pounds of cranberries I froze right after Thanksgiving. 2. The recipe seemed "bendable" enough for me to be able to do some alterations with it. 3. I had several tangerines in the fridge that needed to be eaten.
The original recipes call for making a loaf of the batter and soaking it with a citrus simple syrup. I handled it a bit differently by making muffins glazed from a mixture of simmered agave nectar, tangerine juice, and tapioca flour. That worked very well and I've since applied the technique with other flavorings to different baked goods.
To my vegan friends, this recipe can be veganized by substituting 3 oz. of solid coconut butter for the dairy butter, increasing the baking powder and baking soda to 3/4 teaspoon each, and by using 2 teaspoons of flaxmeal in 2 tablespoons of water instead of the eggs. By the way, since my cholesterol came up high again this week, I'm with you. No more butter and eggs for me. So, you'll be seeing all veganized recipes after this one.
The resulting muffins are very cakelike in texture with a lovely fresh flavor from the tangerine segments. A note about that: removing the fruit from the bitter membrane and pith is very time consuming. Build in an extra hour when you make these and put on a David Sedaris CD for some good laughs while you're doing it.
The cranberries were the exact right foil for the richness of the muffin. They paired well with the tangerines, and made me think of adding cut halves of cranberries to my next fruit salad.
Here's the recipe as I made it Cranberry Tangerine Muffins (greatly inspired by "Clementine-Vanilla Bean Quick Bread" on page 200 of the November 2009 issue of Martha Stewart Living)
Yield: 12 large and 12 mini muffins
Ingredients4 large tangerines 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature 1 cup agave nectar 2 eggs 2 cups white whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour) 1/4 cup coconut flour (sifted) 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup soy creamer 2 tablespoons vanilla 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
Directions1. Zest and juice 2 of the tangerines. 2. Take the other 2 tangerines apart by separating the orange fruit from the white pith and membranes. It's an awful task, I know, but it will be worth it. 3. In a large bowl, beat the butter with 3/4 cup agave nectar until completely incorporated. Beat in the eggs (it will look terribly globby, but don't worry about it) for 2 minutes. 4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the soy creamer, vanilla, and 1/4 cup of the tangerine juice. 5. In yet another bowl (I know, lots to clean, sorry), sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 6. In alternating turns, add the creamer and flour mixtures to the butter mixture. It should take about 2 minutes to add everything in and mix everything well. 7. Fold in the tangerines and cranberries. 8. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 12 cups of a large muffin pan and 12 cups of a mini muffin pan. 9. Using scoops, fill the muffin cups to the top with the batter. 10. Bake for 30 minutes for the minis and 45 minutes for the large muffins (or until a bamboo tester comes out clean). 11. While the muffins bake, make the glaze. In a small saucepan, simmer the agave nectar, remaining tangerine juice, and tapioca flour. Whisk often until it thickens, then turn off the heat and let cool. 12. After the muffins cool for 10 minutes, take the muffins out of their pans and let them cool completely. 13. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the glaze over the tops of the muffins. It will set up nicely. 14. Enjoy!