With the hellebores blooming, the witch hazel perfuming the air and the green shoots of the English bluebells and tulips reaching for the sky, I took an impromptu coffee and muffin breakfast into the garden on a warmish early spring morning. To create a garden-themed breakfast, I decided to make the blueberry muffins in adorable terra cotta flower pots and serve the minneola oranges I was setting out, in a weathered decorative birdcage.
These muffins are made with orange juice. I squeezed blood oranges for this batch but regular juice can be used. When using clay pots, the muffins will be larger and you will get fewer muffins. The muffins will stay warm a long time thanks to the insulating quality of the clay, a great feature on a still cool day!
FLOWER POT BLUEBERRY-ORANGE MUFFINS
(Yield 7 in clay pots or 12 in regular muffin tins)
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 3 tablespoons orange zest
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Prepare the flower pots: place a muffin liner in each flower pot and place each flower pot in a muffin pan for easy handling. Spray the flower pot rim, inside and out, with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in the boiling water. Add the juice, zest and sugar and beat well with an electric mixer.
- Combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Gradually incorporate the dry ingredients to the wet until just blended.
- With a wooden spoon, and by hand, gently fold in the blueberries. Fill each muffin pot. The cupcake liner will drop down in the flower pot with the weight of the batter but this is expected.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes. If not using flower pots, bake regular muffins 30 minutes.
To serve, I nestled the warm muffins in a napkin- lined wire basket.