Having missed several weeks of Muffin Mondays while on vacation in Vietnam, I was excited to get back to baking as soon as I was home. This week’s muffins are olive oil muffins with orange and pistachio.
Earlier in the year, I was fortunate enough to attend an incredible Spanish olive oil tasting at Jose Andres’ The Bazaar. The pastry chef of The Bazaar made an incredible olive oil gelato with olive oil and rosemary cakes for dessert and I was so enamored with the verdant fruity flavor I asked her about olive oils and baking cakes. After an informative conversation about different varietals of olive oil and how they pair well with baking, I left the tasting with a complimentary bottle of the pastry chef’s favorite olive oil for baking – Oro Bailen, made from Spanish Picual olives. Months later I had yet to bake with this gorgeous olive oil, so this week’s muffins were the perfect reason to put the olive oil to the test.
The olive oil muffins with orange and pistachio were dense, floral and bright. They were not as fluffy as a muffin baked with butter, but instead had a nice heft to them. The sweet and fragrant citrus permeates the muffin, while the meaty, nutty pistachio provide a nice textural contrast. The olive oil flavor remains subtly in the background imparting a lemony, earthy flavor. I gave the muffins a little extra sweetness by adding a citrus glaze. Olive oil muffins with orange and pistachio go great with a cup tea for breakfast or as an afternoon treat.
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Olive Oil Muffins (adapted from Giada de Laurentis)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
3 teaspoons orange zest
1 teaspoons lemon zest
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons whole milk
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup chopped pistachio
2 tbl sp fresh squeezed orange juice
1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin.
In a medium bowl, blend together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Using an electric mixer beat the sugar, eggs, and zests in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Beat in the vinegar and milk. Gradually beat in the oil.
Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended.
Crush the almonds with your hands as you add them to the batter and stir until mixed.
Fill the muffin tin almost to the top of the paper liners.
Bake until golden on top and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes.
(optional) For glaze mix orange juice with powdered sugar until mixture has no lumps. Spread over cooled muffins.