January 28, 2017

Pumpkin Muffins

These were actually made with Hokkaido squash (aka Red Kuri, amongst other names), rather than what we might usually think of as a pumpkin in Canada, but the net effect is the same. You could also use butternut squash. I made this recipe because I had a cup of mashed, roasted squash to use up, but you could also use canned pumpkin. The raisins are optional, but if you like raisins at all, they are a delightful little burst of extra sweetness in a muffin that isn't trying to be a cupcake. Cranberries might be nice, too.

Great for the lunchbox, if that's a thing you do.

Pumpkin Muffins

Adapted from Muffins & More, by Jean Paré (Company's Coming)

Makes 10 - 12 muffins

1.5 cups (375 mL) flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup (125 mL) raisins (optional)

1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup (90 mL) canola oil
1/3 cup (90 mL) sugar
1 cup (250 mL) pumpkin or squash puree
1/4 cup (60 mL) milk

Pumpkin seeds for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) with a rack in the middle. Lightly oil or grease the wells of a 12-cup muffin tin, or line with paper or silicone muffin liners.

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, spices, and raisins in a large mixing bowl.

In another bowl, beat the egg, and the sugar and the oil and beat again. Add the pumpkin, beat until smooth and, finally, add the milk and stir until combined.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, and pour the alarmingly coloured wet ingredients into the well all at once. Use a spatula or broad spoon to fold the mixture gently together, until there are no more dry patches. Be careful not to mix too vigorously, or you will get tough muffins. Be gentle.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, coming just barely to the top of each cup. Don't smooth the tops or press the batter down, just let it be lumpy. I got 10 muffins out of this, but the original recipe claims to get 14, so your mileage may vary.

Top each muffin with a few pumpkin seeds, and bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick (or strand of raw spaghetti) comes out clean.

Let stand for 5 minutes in the tin, and then remove to a rack to cool. These keep well at cool room temperature for a couple of days. After that, put them in the fridge or freezer (well wrapped, of course).

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