That’s right, I made my own Pumpkin Puree. It was actually pretty simple and the only reason I did was because someone gave me a cooking pumpkin and I couldn’t let it go to waste. I cut it open, degutted it and threw it in the oven for about 40 minutes, let it cool, peeled off the skin and used my fancy little immersion blender that my mom let me borrow a while back and made it into puree. Yes, it was a bit time consuming, I wouldn’t do it every time I make something with pumpkin, but I would do it again.
On to the muffins. This recipe came out of Baking: From My Home to Yoursby Dorie Greenspan. I actually just bought this book with a gift certificate I got for my b-day. It is now my largest (by dimensions and weight) cookbook I own and I don’t think it’s going to be fitting in my cabinet with the other cookbooks. This book is made of 514 pages of delicious looking recipes, pictures & tips.
The muffins turned out to be delicious. I made a few changes, I didn’t add the sunflower seeds because I didn’t have them on hand and I also skipped the raisins. I’m sure the raisins would have been good, or even dried cranberries or possibly even chocolate chips. Maybe next time. I brought these to work and we ate them with orange marmalade like Dorie suggested in the recipe.
(Recipe from: Dorie Greenspan)
The best pumpkin muffins in New York are made by Sarabeth Levine, the mistress of Sarabeth’s jams and the founder of Sarabeth’s restaurants. Her muffins are big and spicy, packed with raisins and topped with sunflower seeds. They’re so good they out to be the standard for all pumpkin muffins in the world. Like the originals, these are a beautiful orange-gold color and have a moist and tender cakey crumb, a gentle spiciness and the hallmark sprinkling of sunflower seeds across their crowns. They are good minutes out of the oven, at room temperature or split and toasted. And while they’re luscious on their own, they’re even better with a little butter and a lot of orange marmalade or apricot jam.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of ground allspice
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temp.
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
about 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, for topping.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or spray 12 cupcake molds in a regular-size pan or fit with paper cups. Place the pan on a baking sheet.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.
Working with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until soft. Add both the sugars and continue to beat until light and smooth.
One by one, add the eggs, beating for a minute after they are incorporated, then beat in the vanilla.
Lower the mixer speed and mix in the pumpkin and buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients in a steady stream, mixing only until they disappear. To avoid overmixing, you can stop the machine early and stir in any remaining dry ingredients into the batter using a rubber spatula.
Stir in the raisins and nuts. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and sprinkle a few sunflower seeds over the top of each muffin.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. (I think mine took less than 20 minutes to bake, so check them early!)
Transfer the pan to a rack and cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the pan, then carefully remove each one from its mold to finish cooling on the rack.