It may not be the season for fresh apricots in wintry southern Ontario, but you can make muffins that are ripe with the sunny flavour of apricots by using dried apricots and apricot nectar in the muffin batter, and apricot jam as the sweet surprise centre!
Apricot Flavour-Full Muffins
1 cup (250 mL) boiling water
3/4 cup (175 mL) finely chopped dried apricots
2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped walnuts or pecans
1 tablespoon (15 mL) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) baking soda
1/4 cup (60 mL) butter or hard margarine, softened
2/3 cup (150 mL) sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) apricot nectar
1/4 cup (60 mL) milk
1 teaspoon (5 mL) lemon juice
1/2 cup (125 mL) apricot jam
Spray 12 muffin cups with cooking spray or lightly grease with cooking oil.
Pour boiling water over apricots in small heatproof bowl. Let stand 10 minutes until softened.
Meanwhile, measure flour, nuts, baking powder, salt and baking soda into a large bowl; stir. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.
With electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in a medium bowl until well blended. Add egg; beat well. Add apricot nectar, milk and lemon juice; stir to combine. Pour mixture into well in dry ingredients.
Drain apricots; add to well. Stir just until all ingredients are moistened.
Fill muffin cups half full with batter. Make a small dent in the batter in each cup with the back of a spoon. Spoon 2 teaspoons (10 mL) jam into each dent. Spoon remaining batter over top.
Bake in a preheated 375F (190C) oven until muffins are firm to the touch, about 18 to 20 minutes. Let stand in pan for 5 minutes before removing muffins to cool on a wire rack.
* Use peach or raspberry jam, or marmalade instead of apricot jam.
Recipe Source: Mostly Muffins by Jean Pare, Company’s Coming Publishing Limited, 2006