makes about 12 large muffins
This Easter muffin recipe is from Linda Hayes, the former co-founder and owner of Ace Bakery. Ace bread is sold in all Loblaw’s stores. The muffins have been a long-time favourite at the ACE Bakery café in Toronto. When testing this recipe, they found three things that make a great difference to their ultimate texture: cake or pastry flour is best; the fresher the egg whites the better as older eggs are more liquid; and keeping an eye on the muffins in the oven so they don’t darken to much.
1¼ cups (300 mL) cake or pastry flour
1 tsp. (5 mL) kosher salt
3½ oz. (100 g) dried apricots, about 11, finely chopped
9 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 tbsp. (25 mL) water
2½ tsp. (12.5 mL) cream of tartar
1 tsp. (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
¾ cup + 2 Tbsp. (210 mL) fine white sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Line large muffin pan tin with paper-cups or as the photo shows, use 3-inch (7.5 cm) timbale cups that can be bought at some cookware stores or professional cookware stores.,
2. Sift the flour and stir in the salt; dust apricots with a touch of the flour mixture to keep them from sticking together and forming large clumps, or use a pair of clean, sharp scissors to cut the fruit into small pieces.
3. Whip the egg whites and water together in a standing mixer on high speed until just foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue whipping at high speed until the egg whites form very stiff peaks. Change the mixing speed to medium and add the vanilla. Gradually add all the sugar while still whipping. Fold in the sifted flour in 4 separate additions.
4. Gently fold in the apricots. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin tin, mounding the batter about ½ to ¾ inches (1.2 to 1.9 cm) over the top of each muffin cup. The top should be light and fluffy and irregular in appearance. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes. Rotate the muffin tray and bake 12 minutes more.
5. Remove the muffins from the pan and transfer to a rack until cool.
If you don’t have fine or superfine white sugar, grind some regular granulated sugar in the food processor for a minute or so.
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