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!