SOS. Quick! Send plane tickets and weekender bag, all I can think about is escaping on vacation.
Every year, when I’ve recovered from the aftermath of the holidays and the weather begins to warm up (yes, that happens in February down here in Austin), I find myself daydreaming more than usual; my thoughts drifting towards memories of lazy days on the beach and long strolls through Italian hillside towns. Highlight reels of my favorite destinations bubbling up to the surface, and the gravitational pull of wanderlust drawing me back to the road.
Unfortunately for me, there’s no vacation in sight. A honeymoon later this year, yes (!!!), but the near future? Nada.
So, to remedy my longing for a cross-Atlantic getaway, we’re taking a little food vacation. These Olive Oil & Orange Blossom Muffins are bursting with the flavors of the Mediterranean. Fruity olive oil, fresh citrus and orange blossom water come together in a perfect mingling of delicate yet fragrant flavors. The texture is light and airy — these aren’t your grandma’s bran muffins — with a buoyant springiness and floral sweetness that, with one bite, will transport you to your very own Tuscan garden brunch. Not quite the real thing, no. But enjoyed al fresco with an espresso and a drizzle of honey? Not bad. Not bad at all.
Adapted from David Lebovitz
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup semolina flour (can sub all-purpose)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
- 3 tablespoons orange or grapefruit juice
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
- 1 small orange, thinly sliced and quartered, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line or grease muffin tins and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, semolina flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the olive oil, milk, juice, zest and orange blossom water and whisk to combine.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix just until combined; be careful not over mix or muffins will be tough.
- Divide the batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each cup about 3/4 full. Top with orange slices, if desired. (You could also sprinkle with slivered almonds.)
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly golden, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool slightly on a cooling rack before serving.