Orange-Currant Muffins with Pistachio Crumb

When Chicago's farm-to-table favorite, Lula Cafe, needed a new pastry chef, Kate Neumann was at the top of the list. The chef honed her craft at Blackbird and mk and has a knack for reinventing classic desserts with inspired flavor pairings and witty touches. At Lula, she's expanded the menu with breakfast pastries that echo her whimsical style. Here, Neumann updates everyday muffin batter with orange zest and black currants, but it's the pistachio crumble that gives these muffins their edge. Its nuttiness complements the muffin's sweet crumb, and the vibrant green color makes it stand out in a sea of beige.

recipe adapted from Kate Neumann, Lula Cafe, Chicago

Orange-Currant Muffins With Pistachio Crumb
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Make Orange-Currant Muffins with Pistachio Crumb from Lula Cafe in Chicago.
Servings
12
muffins
Ingredients
  • Pistachio Crumb½ cup all-purpose flour¼ cup light or dark brown sugar ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted pistachios, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Muffins
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened½ cup granulated sugar1 large egg¾ cup sour cream2½ teaspoons finely grated orange zest (from about 1 medium orange)1½ cups all-purpose flour1½ teaspoons baking powder¼ teaspoon baking soda¼ teaspoon salt½ cup dried currants
Directions
  1. Make the pistachio crumb: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, pistachios and a pinch of salt. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut the butter into the mixture until the butter pieces are roughly the size of peas. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325° and position a rack in the center. Line 12 standard-size muffin cups with liners or grease a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Make the muffins: In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together the butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and beat until just combined, about 1 minute. Beat in the sour cream and orange zest until just combined.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add this mixture to the butter mixture in two additions, beating at medium-low speed until just combined.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the currants into the batter. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling each tin about three-quarters full. Top with the reserved pistachio crumb and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove the muffins from the oven and let them sit in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and set on a rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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