Now that Hallowe’en is over for another year, the cheap and nasty sweets have been put out of reach for a while to allow the little teeth to recover, the scary costumes have been put away and the carved out pumpkin has been thrown out. I still had some pumpkin that I didn’t want to waste so I pureed it the other day and as it’s been calling out to me every time I open the fridge, I decided this morning that’s it’s most definitely time I baked something with it.
I’m a recent convert to both Dorie Greenspan (the American baker) and pumpkin muffins. Both are American classics and on one of my recent internet cookbook purchases, I bought Dorie’s book called “Baking: From My Home to Yours”. It’s hardback and is incredibly heavy so it’s a real coffee table classic, a book that will probably take years to get through fully. This is my first recipe to try from the book and wasn’t disappointed. These muffins are quite Christmasy with the lovely cinnamon and ginger flavours gently coming through. You can’t actually taste the pumpkin itself and not having tasted a pumpkin muffin before I don’t know whether this is a plus or not. The addition of the sunflower seeds on the top of the muffin give it a lovely crunchy toasted flavour. Beautifully moist with a lovely cakey crumb and with very little fat content (relatively speaking!), this recipe is a winner and I’d be quite happy with one of these little gems and a cup of coffee for a quick breakfast.
Pumpkin Muffins from “Baking: From My Home to Yours” by Dorie Greenspan
125g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground allspice
110g unsalted butter (softened)
110g granulated sugar
50g soft brown sugar
2 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
200g pumpkin puree
60ml of buttermilk
50g chopped pecans / walnuts
Some sunflower seeds for topping
Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases or grease the muffin tin.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.
Beat the butter with an electric mixer until soft. Add the sugars and continue to beat until light and fluffy. One by one, add the eggs, beating after each one is incorporated. Add the vanilla extract.
Mix in the pumpkin puree and buttermilk (on a low speed). Then add the dry ingredients in a steady stream, mixing only until the disappear. Do not overmix.
Stir in the raisins and the nuts.
Divide into the 12 muffin cups and sprinkle with the sunflower seeds.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of one of the muffins comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before taking the muffins out of the baking pan.