I’ve seen hot cross buns on the internet but never knew they were Easter recipe, and Good Friday in particular. This month, I bought my third issue of the Jamie magazine, spring issue, and saw a new twist on the hot cross buns. I said to myself, let’s give it a try.
The recipe for Hot Cross Muffins in the magazine is gluten free, but since I have no problem with gluten, I used regular ingredients I can easily get. These muffins are sweet, flavorful, soft, and moist on the inside. They are enjoyable on their own, or with a cup of strong coffee, french press I’d say, during any time of the day.
After extensive research (SSSSHHHHHH! it’s wikipedia) and to feed my curiosity, I found out that Hot Cross Bun are traditionally prepared on Good Friday for many reasons and beliefs. Here is what I have found:
- One of the superstitions mentioned that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or grow mouldy during the subsequent year.
- Another encourages keeping such a bun for medicinal purposes. A piece of it given to someone ill is said to help them recover.
- Sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if “Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be” is said at the time, so some say they should only be cooked one at a time.
- Because there is a cross on the buns, some say they should be kissed before being eaten.
- If taken on a sea voyage, hot cross buns are said to protect against shipwreck.
- If hung in the kitchen, they are said to protect against fires and ensure that all breads turn out perfectly. The hanging bun is replaced each year.
Have a blessed Friday
Hot Cross Muffins
Adapted from Jamie Magazine, March/April Issue
- 225g butter (softened)
- 200g (1 cup) light brown sugar
- 150g ground almonds
- 100g (1 cup) flour
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 3/4 baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- 3 eggs (room temperature)
- 175g dried fruits (with candied orange from this recipe)
- 50g dried cranberries
- 1 apple, coarsely grated
- 100g icing sugar
- Heat the oven to 180ºc
- Line a muffin tray with square baking paper or cupcake liners
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric beater until pale and fluffy
- Combine almonds, flour, baking powder, salt, and spices in a bowl then sift on top of the butter mixture
- Add orange zest, 3 tablespoons of orange juice and egg, Beat well until you get a thick batter
- Stir in dried fruits, cranberries and apples
- Spoon the mixture in the prepares muffin trays until they’re 3/4 full
- Bake for 35 minutes then turn the heat to 160ºc and bake for further 20 minutes (my oven turned up the heat and they were done within 20 minutes) until they’re golden and an inverted skewer comes out clean
- Cool for 15 minutes in the tray then place on a rack. Dust with icing sugar (optional)
- Mix the icing sugar with a couple of teaspoons of orange juice until you get a thick mixture
- Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and draw a cross on top of the muffins