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Grapefruit olive oil muffins

Every so often you come across a recipe and wonder how on earth you hadn’t tried this years ago, and why didn’t anyone tell me how amazing these are!  Well, David Leibowitz has now introduced me to olive oil muffins, and I’m making up for lost time!

Probably like many people, my perception of olive oil cakes is based on my experience of the carrot and zucchini cakes of my youth.  And I do really like carrot cake, but it tends to be quite a light cake with a not terribly sturdy texture, so I’ve never been particularly keen on it for hand held cakes like muffins.

Lemon olive oil muffins

These muffins are completely different, and have a texture that is somehow light but dense at the same time, and actually get moister over a few days, which is pretty unusual for muffins.  They reheat really well, and apparently freeze well, though I haven’t had any last long enough to be frozen yet!

The other wonderful thing about these muffins is the different flavour combinations that are possible.  Monsieur Leibowitz made them with normal orange juice, zest, and Grand Marnier.  I’ve made those several times, but also tried them with lemons and Limoncello, grapefruit and Campari, and blood oranges also with Grand Marnier, though if you’ve managed to find some blood orange liqueur that would obviously be wonderful instead.

Lemon olive oil muffins

Let me know if you try these or other variations – I’ve tried a little finely chopped rosemary with the grapefruit, and used lemon myrtle infused olive oil as a lemon variation.  Plain lemon or orange infused oils would also be great, and next time passionfruit are cheap I want to try with passionfruit pulp and liqueur.

Citrus olive oil muffins

Adapted slightly from a recipe by David Leibowitz

  • 185g plain flour
  • 180-200g sugar (I use 200g for lemon or grapefruit, 180g for oranges as they’re sweeter)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt
  • 180ml full cream milk
  • 180ml good olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • zest of 1 orange or lemon or 1/2 a grapefruit
  • 2 Tbs orange/grapefruit/lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs liqueur (Grand Marnier, Limoncello, Campari etc)

Preheat oven to 180C (350F).  Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt in a large bowl.  In a large measuring jug, combine milk, oil, eggs, zest, juice, and liqueur, and whisk together well.

Gently stir wet ingredients into dry with a rubber spatula, and mix until just combined.  It will be quite a liquid batter.  Scoop into a 12 cup muffin tin lined with paper or silicon liners.  Bake for approximately 25 minutes until golden around the edges and a tester comes out clean.  Turn out onto a rack, and leave to cool.  They store well at room temperature for several days.

Makes 12