Power Pumpkin Muffins 12/02/10
Kath Fourie recreates a pumpkin muffin baked for breakfast on a cold Toronto morning - a great snack option.
If you’re not into overly sweet muffins, this recipe is a good snack option for any time of the day.
A little while back I spent a weekend in Toronto. After a night out involving a disgustingly expensive dinner at an overrated restaurant, my boyfriend woke up feeling like death warmed up in a 600 watt microwave. Something (probably the unpasteurised cheese on the larny cheese platter) had turned him to moaning and groaning with the passion of a seasick sailor. I left him to his misery, while I trotted downstairs to find something for breakfast.
Natalie-the-musician-mom had left to go and play string instruments somewhere near Niagara Falls, but had baked a tray of muffins for us to eat before her exit. I bit into one and discovered a moist little pocket of pumpkin. The muffin wasn’t sweet and it wasn’t savoury either, it was somewhere in the middle. Marc, Natalie’s husband, had made a jar of peach jam that was basically begging for me to sample it, and in no time I was about three muffins down and the jar of golden jam looked distinctly less full.
I tried to recreate these little pumpkin power muffins back in SA, and I don’t think they turned out anything like Natalie’s actually – but I’ll give you my recipe anyway! I had mixed reactions from my guinea pigs: “Hmm, they’re…interesting” to my god-daughters complete lack of words as she smashed one after the next into her not-quite two-year old face! I guess it depends on your taste buds?
Ingredients: (Makes 12 big ones)
¼ of a largish white or green skin pumpkin, get a ripe one for maximum natural sweetness
3 cups of self-raising flour (you can use whole-wheat flour too)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar (or less it you want them really savoury)
2 eggs ¼ cup milk ½ cup oil
Optional: grated nutmeg, cinnamon, pecan nuts – really up to what you think goes with pumpkin!
Tip: Do not let your mom throw in a tablespoon of mustard while you turn your back. In fact, best not let her out of your sights…mothers cannot help but add their two cents (or tablespoons) to baking!
Pre-heat oven to 180 C Chop and peel your pumpkin. I left mine in wedge shapes and tossed them in a wide based pot on the stove top. Add water and let them parboil. If you leave them too long then they will be super-soft and disintegrate when you mix them into the muffin mix. If that’s how you want them though, that’s fine. Some people don’t like the texture of pumpkin, and in that case you can hide it by mashing it up completely before mixing it in.
Sieve your dry ingredients together (including the nutmeg, cinnamon etc if you are adding those).
Mix the eggs, milk and oil together and add to the dry ingredients. Don’t over mix because it lets too much air in which can result in big holes inside your baked muffin.
Then add the pumpkin chunks. Fold in the chunks so they don’t fall apart (unless you want it blended in).
Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes or until brown on the top. My rule of thumb is that when you push into the top of a cupcake or muffin with your finger tip and the dough pushes back at you it’s cooked all the way through.
Text and images Kath Fourie