1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz./113g) butter, cubed
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup raisins or sultanas
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup milk
2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. mixed spice (1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice may be substituted, if needed)
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tsp. milk
Serve with Flavored Butters (optional), See recipes below
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper muffin liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the self-rising flour, the cinnamon and the mixed spice. Set aside.
3. Heat sugar, butter, orange juice and fruit over low heat until mixture comes to a gentle simmer. Remove from heat, cool slightly.
4. Whisk milk and eggs into the butter mixture, then lightly stir into sifted flour mixture.
5. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. Allow muffins to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. For Icing:
Combine confectioners' sugar and milk in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle or pipe crosses onto muffins and allow icing to set before serving with flavored butters.
Makes 12 muffins.
Combine 1/2 cup softened butter with the following ingredient variations for delicious flavored butters to serve with hot cross buns or muffins.
Maple Pecan Butter:
1 tablespoon maple syrup, 2 tablespoons finely chopped toasted pecan nuts
Orange, Lemon and Lime Butter:
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of finely grated zest of an orange, lemon and lime and 1 teaspoon lime juice.
Rum and Raisin Butter:
Soak 2 tablespoons chopped raisins in 1 tablespoon of rum until plump, drain and combine with butter and 2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar.
Honey Ginger Butter:
2 teaspoons honey, 1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger.
All butters will keep for 1 week, covered in the refrigerator. Roll the butter into a log between sheets of waxed or parchment paper and chill until firm. Cut into slices and serve on hot cross buns or muffins.
Date: April 22, 2007