Muffins are pretty much my catch all emergency bake, and a usual weekend breakfast. My standard muffin is egg free; a shout for fewer ingredients, and to mark my mantra of “If you cannot afford free range then leave it out”. This is usually shouted at the telly during a cooking programme, when Hugh, Jamie or whoever, are telling us to buy free range chicken and eggs, but missing the point that some people simply cannot afford to. You try and persuade a parent on a low income that they should not buy their 15 eggs for £1, in favour of free range at 5 or more times the price. I suspect that their prime motivation is to feed their families rather than towards animal welfare.
Personally I think that chefs and cooking programmes are all missing a trick and maybe they should focus on encouraging people to consume fewer animal products, and to stop regarding meat, eggs and diary as a cheap and daily source of food. I am sure it would be altogether better for many peoples’ health, wallets and the environment. I do not think it is wrong to eat meat, eggs and diary, but I know I feel a whole heap healthier when I eat less of them. Whether this actually is because I am eating less animal products, or by the fact that by not eating them I will be consuming more fruit and vegetables I do not know. A bad vegetarian or vegan diet can be just as damaging as any other, imagine how grim you would feel if you ate nothing but chips for a week?
However I will get off my soap box for, despite my words, these muffins do contain egg, in the blood orange curd I baked into them. I would think that marmalade or jam would make a good alternative should you wish to bake vegan.
I am sending these to the March Monthly Mingle, hosted by Sarah at Maison Cupcake. These are not quite as pink as I had hoped, the batter was gloriously bright then faded in the oven.
Recipe: Think Pink! Blood Orange Juice and Curd Muffins (Makes 6)
6oz plain flour
Zest 1/2 blood orange
1tsp baking power
6oz blood orange juice (top up to 6oz with milk if needed)
2oz sunflower oil
Orange pulp from the juicer (remove the seeds)
6 tsp blood orange curd
(Optional) Sprinkling of oats
Whisk the oil and juice mixture with a fork. Mix the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold together (the batter should be lumpy and mixing should take no more than 15 folds). Divide half the mixture out into the muffin pan, add a blob of curd to each muffin and then top with the remainder of the batter, sprinkle with oats if using. Bake at GM5/190C/375F for 20 – 25 mins until risen.
Eat warm from the oven, but beware of hot scalding curd!