Fluffy Orange-Cranberry-Pear Muffins with Orange Curd Icing
Makes 8 Muffins
These tender muffins have such a bright, fresh, and tangy flavor — perfect for Spring or Summer! They can be eaten as a breakfast or snack, but are still sweet enough for dessert. Plus, they're a great way to sneak in a serving of fruit and some omega-3s (chia+flax)!
1 tbsp whole flax seeds
1 tbsp chia seeds
5 tbsp water
3 tbsp oil
¼ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
3 tbsp fresh orange juice
3 tbsp pear juice
1 tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups white flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
⅛ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ - ½ cup cranberries (depending on how many you like)
¼ cup fresh orange zest (about 1 large orange fully zested)
¼ cup pear, chopped
Orange Curd (Optional):
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp orange zest
5 tbsp orange juice
½ stick cold vegan butter (¼ cup), cubed
Start by soaking your cranberries in a bowl filled with warm water, set aside.
Next, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and grease or line 1 standard 12-cup muffin tray.
Make the "egg" by combining flax and chia seeds in a small bowl with 3 tbsp warm water. Set aside for a couple minutes to thicken.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and sugars. Whisk in orange juice, pear juice, molasses, and vanilla. Mix in the "egg" and last 2 tbsp of water.
In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients and gradually sift them into the wet mixture. Batter should be airy and thick!
Then, using a standard ice cream scoop or 2 spoons, transfer batter to muffin trays. Fill each cup about ¾ full, but be careful not to overfill them. If desired, top each with a sprinkle of white sugar and orange zest, as well as a couple cranberries and pieces of chopped pear!
Bake for 20 - 30 minutes, or until muffins have puffed up, are golden brown, and a toothpick inserted into one's center comes out clean.
Let muffins cool for at least 15 minutes in trays before transferring to a cooling rack.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or freeze for up to a month. To thaw frozen muffins, warm them quickly in oven or microwave, or leave at room temp until soft throughout.
Now for the curd: In a small pot, whisk together sugar, zest, and juice.
Place on stove over a medium - low heat and stir frequently until mixture has thickened quite a bit, 5-10 minutes.
Let cool for about 5 minutes before adding in butter. Stir the curd until smooth and jelly-like.
Let it chill/set for about 25 minutes in fridge before spooning desired amount onto cooled muffins. I topped each with a sprinkle of candied orange peel.
Once the curd sets and cools fully on the muffins, it will resemble more of a thick icing.
Feel free to sub in ground flax meal for the whole flax seeds in a 1:1 ratio.
I use canola oil, but olive oil or grapeseed oil are fine.
I use canned pears and their juice.