All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pumpkin muffins with crystallized ginger for October

October brings transcendental and brilliant leaves drifting to the still-unfrozen ground.  Those of us in New England watch the weather forecast, covering the last of our lettuces and cabbages when the temperature dips below 30 degrees.  Fresh, sun-kissed tomatoes are a distant memory, and the days shorten and darken.  Is it any wonder that we seize on the rich taste of pumpkin anything?  Nevermind Halloween, pumpkin is like chocolate in these dwindling days of light - a deep, dark, luscious, and  spicy taste to welcome in the changing of our seasons.  It is lovely, whether roasted or pureed, brushed with butter or olive oil, sprinkled with thyme leaves or nutmeg.

I celebrate the season with these remarkable muffins from Sarah Leah Chase from her delicious cookbook, Nantucket Open House Cookbook, and, I have to say, one of the only recipes I've made from a cookbook that was perfect, just as she wrote it.  It's everything you would want in an autumn muffin, and one I look forward to making at this change of season.  The richness of pumpkin combined with the juicy, spicy nuggets of crystallized ginger are simply stunning.

From Open House Cookbook:

This makes around a dozen Texas size muffins - two scoops of batter per muffin.  Obviously, it will make more if you make smaller muffins.  It also works as a loaf cake or a dense, delicious round cake, topped with sweetened whipped cream.

Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease Texas size muffin tins, or cake tins, with vegetable shortening.

1 can (15 oz) unsweetened pumpkin puree
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, melted
4 large eggs
1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
3 1/2 cups King Arthur all purpose flour
2 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder
about 1 t. kosher salt
4 1/2 t. cinnamon
4 1/2 t. ginger
1 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. ground cloves
1 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

Place pumpkin, sugar, and melted butter in mixer bowl.  Mix briefly, then add the eggs and beat until smooth.  Add the cider or apple juice.

Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves into a bowl, then gradually sift into the pumpkin mixture until smooth.  Stir in the crystallized ginger.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop two scoops into each Texas size muffin tin, or, fill cake tins or smaller size muffin tins to about 3/4ths.

Bake until the the muffins are firm to the touch when gently pressed in the center - about 25 minutes.  Cakes will take longer.  Remove to a cooling rack for ten minutes, then gently remove from tins to another cooling rack and let cool completely, especially if you're icing them.

Enjoy the season, wherever you are!


La Table De Nana said...

Wish I had picked up the puree instead of the filling:( They are hard to come by here..bought them in the states..These look great Katrina:) Happy Fall.

katrina said...

Oh, what a shame, Nana! I was able to find a few One-Pie pumpkin puree and several Libbey's, which come from the midwest, I think. Some natural food stores have an organic puree - maybe? Thanks!

Barb said...

Oh Yummmmm!! I need some crystallized ginger and then I'm going to make these too. Lately, I have sort of become addicted to the flavor of ginger - it's so good!

I have had a copy of that 'Nantucket Open House Cookbook" for years. Thanks for the reminder to look through again - I always loved that cookbook. Do you have any favorites from it that we should try?

katrina said...

Hi barb! The only thing I've marked is orange Shortbread - with a few others whose recipes I've changed. I remember having trouble with the Tri-Berry muffins, but oh, how I love her introductions. I can smell sea breeze even here, even now. That cookbook is worth this recipe, which is amazing.