These Double Apricot and Amaretto Muffins make a delicious festive dessert and are perfect with afternoon tea. Amaretto has a special affinity with apricots, and although it is an expensive addition, the scent alone makes it worthwhile. Tie festive bows around the muffins to bring some extra Christmas cheer.
Double Apricot and Amaretto Muffins
225g/8oz/2 cups plain
12.5ml/21⁄2 tsp baking powder
2.5ml/1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
115g/4oz/generous 1⁄2 cup caster
75g/3oz/6 tbsp butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
150ml/1⁄4 pint/2⁄3 cup buttermilk
a handful ready-to-eat dried apricots, cut into strips
2–3 amaretti, crumbled
For the fruit and glaze
275g/10oz fresh apricots
15ml/1 tbsp apricot jam
15ml/1 tbsp clear honey
30ml/2 tbsp amaretto liqueur
1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Lightly grease the cups of a muffin tin (pan) or line them with paper cases.
2 To cook the fruit, stone (pit) the apricots, cut into quarters and put on a baking tray. Add the jam and honey. Bake in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes, basting once. Drizzle the apricots with the amaretto. Leave to cool.
3 Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
4 Mix the butter with the egg and buttermilk. Add to the dry ingredients and part blend. Add the cooked apricots, reserving the syrup. Spoon the batter into the paper cases. Bake for 25 minutes, until well risen and firm to the touch.
5 Decorate the tops with the dried apricot strips and crumbled amaretti. Return to the oven for 4–5 minutes until the tops look golden. Leave to cool slightly.
6 Heat the reserved syrup in a small pan for 30 seconds, then brush the hot glaze on top of the muffins. When the cakes are cool enough to handle, transfer them to a wire rack to go cold.
Double Apricot and Amaretto Muffins recipe taken from the 500 Christmas Recipes book by Emma Holley
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