Sunday, October 31, 2010

Recipes: Homemade Pumpkin Muffins

It's Halloween! And what would be more suitable than fresh baked pumpkin muffins. I used the flesh of one of the Vif D'Etampes Pumpkins that we grew in our garden this year. Fresh made pumpkin puree lacks the tinny taste of canned pumpkin and allows you to use the flesh of the many wonderful varieties of pumpkins available on the market.

Dry ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup flax seeds
1/3 cup pepitas or sunflower seeds (unsalted)

Wet Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 cups milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or *fresh made)
2/3 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line muffin tins (makes about 18-24 regular sized muffins)

Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and set aside. In a medium sided bowl combine all wet ingredients. Combine the wet and dry ingredients until just mixed (do not overmix). Fill muffin tins about 2/3 full and bake for about 16-18 minutes until a knife comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Cool and enjoy with fresh butter.

* Fresh made pumpkin puree
Select a pie pumpkin, vif d'etampes, or long island cheese pumpkin. I prefer the long island cheese pumpkins. These are the pumpkins that are the same color as a butternut squash on the outside and yield a sweet creamy bright orange flesh. Cut in half and scoop out seeds. Place upside down on a baking sheet (be sure to use one with sides as cooking pumpkin WILL release water). Bake for 40-55 minutes at 375 degrees (larger pumpkins take longer than smaller ones). Your pumpkin will be done when the dome collapses. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Carefully remove the flesh from the outer shell. Mash the flesh with a potato ricer (for muffins or breads) or puree (for pies and custards) in a food processor. You will likely have ALOT of pumpkin puree, the excess can be frozen and stored for up to a year. I portion out the frozen puree into 2 cups portions (this is how much puree is called for in my pie recipe).

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