I sampled some clementines at the Jean Talon Market in Montreal this weekend and was blown away by their incredible flavour. I brought a bunch of them all the way home to Toronto but I didn’t want to just eat them in their raw form. Every time I passed them at the kitchen counter, I wondered how I should use them.
My son was sitting at our kitchen island eating his lunch when he said, “mom, why don’t we make clementine muffins?” This is nothing new as my son requests that I turn all fruits and vegetables into a muffin. This time, however, I actually got excited about the suggestion. I love orange paired with chocolate so I knew I would be adding in some dark chocolate as well. Also, I kind of discriminate against muffins that don’t have any chocolate in them (and so does my son!)
Months ago I made doughnuts and incorporated brown butter into them and I have been wanting to try this again with another recipe. The brown butter adds a nuttiness to baked goods that is quite unique. I decided these muffins would be the perfect recipe for that.
Food can really tell the perfect story like one of the seasons changing. It is the end of summer, when local clementines are in abundance and I have complimented them with quintessential fall flavours like cinnamon, brown sugar, and cloves. I added walnuts to the crumb topping for some texture and nuttiness. Crumbs all on their own are a bit weird to me.
These clementines are usually bought by the case so I hope you save a few to make these muffins. You will need four of them to be exact – the rest you can snack on at your leisure.
If you don’t have dark chocolate, I suggest you go out and buy some because it really compliments the clementines beautifully. Milk chocolate doesn’t have enough cocoa in it.
I made my glaze and put it into a squeeze bottle. It makes for easy drizzling and is a lot more fun!
I hope you enjoy my summer to fall muffins. Of course, you can make them again in the winter months using the imported clementine variety (but we encourage the use of local produce here 😉
Enjoy the end of summer!
- Ingredients for crumb topping:
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt, if using unsalted butter
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
Ingredients for muffins:
- 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Zest of 3 clementines, ⅓ cup clementine juice
- ½ cup unsalted butter, browned
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
**If you do not have buttermilk: Combine 1 Tbsp of white vinegar with 1 cup milk in a bowl and set aside for 5-10 minutes to “sour”. Use this substitute as you would buttermilk in this recipe.
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ⅓ cup clementine juice
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- For the crumb topping, combine sugars, flour, spices and salt in a medium size bowl. Incorporate the dry ingredients and then slowly drizzle in melted butter while stirring with a fork. Keep stirring after all butter is added until the mixture gets crumbly and is able to be packed between your fingers.
- For the muffins, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and sugar. Set aside.
- Brown your butter: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Butter will begin to crackle and pop as it melts. Once the water has evaporated the butter will quiet down and begin to brown. Keep an eye on it as it browns quickly. The butter will begin to smell nutty. Remove from heat and immediately and set aside to cool.
- In a small bowl whisk together egg, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Add cooled browned butter and whisk until incorporated.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir together until no flour bits remain and all of the ingredients are well combined being sure not to overmix batter.
- Divide mixture between the 12 prepared muffin cups. Place a heaping tablespoon of the crumbs on top of each muffin, dividing the crumbs equally and mounding them up slightly in the center. Don’t be afraid to pile it on because the muffins will expand quite a bit.
- Place tray in oven and bake for 25 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for about 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. While the muffins cool, make the glaze.
- To make the glaze, combine confectioners’ sugar and clementine juice. Whisk until smooth. If the glaze is too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar as needed. Drizzle cooled muffins with the glaze. Glaze will set within 10 minutes. Muffins can be kept up to 5 days in an air-tight container.