Orange Muffins with Sweet Preserves
“There’s an elegant glass of orange juice. At least, I think it’s orange juice. I’ve only even tasted an orange once, at New Year’s when my father bought one as a special treat.” – The Hunger Games, Chapter 4
Okay…I know the quote is not quite right here, but this is the book and chapter referenced in the Hunger Games cookbook. And the above quote is the only mention I could find to orange anything in Chapter 4.
This is one of those recipes you should read all the way through before starting. I’m really glad I did, because at the very end of all the directions they say the preserves are “Best if made a day ahead.”
So I made the preserves a day ahead! Two days ahead, actually, since preserves will keep.
I was a little wary about the preserves recipe, since one of the ingredients was “Orange Marmalade.” Which, to me, is basically preserves already. But they added orange juice, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, and additional sugar as well to make it more unique.
The process pretty much involved mixing everything in a saucepan and then boiling it until the preserves are “reduced to 3 cups.”
Now I’m a generally lazy person, so when I see “reduced to 3 cups” my first thought is, “no way in hell am I taking everything out of the pot just to measure it, only to return it to the pot again because it needs to be reduced more.” Plus, who wants additional dirty dishes? So I just let it boil for their estimated amount of time, and it seemed to work out fine.
Then the preserves were put into a container and stored in the fridge until this morning.
This morning I started on the muffins first thing so we could have them nice and warm for breakfast.
The dry ingredients were mixed first, followed by the wet ones being added in. More orange juice was included here, of course!
Once the batter was thoroughly combined, it was poured into a pre-greased muffin pan.
Then I melted some butter and mixed it with brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. This was “drizzled” on top (I put “drizzled” in quotes because it really just plopped onto the muffins and I had to spread it over with a knife).
Finally, it was all put into the oven for about 25 minutes.
These muffins were delicious! And while I was worried about the preserves originally, they were actually my favorite part. I think the muffins alone would have been boring without.
We loved these! They were very tasty. I definitely recommend serving them warm if you can, and don’t skimp on the preserves!
Both the preserves and the muffins were pretty straight forward, though the muffins do require a little extra work than normal with the brown sugar topping. All of it required monitoring, as well.
You’ll most likely need to purchase orange juice and orange marmalade for this. Even if you have orange juice already, know that you’ll need about 2 cups for this recipe. You may also need to purchase additional baking supplies (flour, sugar, brown sugar, butter) or spices (cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin pie spice).
If you’re having these a day or two after they were baked, try cutting them in half and then popping them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. It’s almost like they’re fresh again!
Also, if you don’t have pumpkin spice you can make your own! This is what I did, since pumpkin pie spice doesn’t seem to be available in the Spring. There are a ton of recipes online, and it really just requires a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Some recipes also add in allspice.