Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Making the old new again

In 2003, my husband and I created a Food and Gardening newsletter to send to our friends at Christmas - (short-lived tradition died when kids came into our life).  As part of the "food" of the newsletter, I added my favorite muffin recipe at the time - Cranberry Pumpkin Streusel Muffins.  The recipe results were very good - the muffins that is.  Many people shared comments on how they enjoyed the recipe and I continued to make the muffins over the next couple of years.
  More recently, I bumped into a friend I had not seen in years and she told me how she makes that recipe every year at this time.  Huh?  Really?   I was truly honoured at the idea of someone making my muffins over a 10 year period.  Then I got curious as to what was in those muffins as I had totally forgotten about that recipe in light of the  food changes in our life.  So I finally dug up that newsletter recipe, spun a few "ingredients" around and with a little more tweaking a second time, they came up pretty well perfect with enjoyable reviews by our guests.
I have made this  without the streusel topping because it is really easier and faster and school-friendly.  This original recipe came from my sister but I have no idea where she got it anymore.  This new version is now mine and I hope you will enjoy it and add it to your muffin collection.

Pumpkin CranApple Muffins

1 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup palm/coconut sugar*
2 eggs
1 cup apple (medium-sized) - chopped in small pieces or grated *
1 cup cranberries - cut/chopped to size of choice*
1/2 cup creamy liquid of choice (I use unsweetened coconut or rice milk)
1/4 cup coconut oil - melted (or oil of choice)
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 1/2  tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 3/4 cup spelt flour * - whole or light

375 F for 20 minutes
This recipe makes about 15 muffins which is more than a normal muffin tin. If that is a "pain" for you, distribute the batter over 12 muffins and add baking time in small increments (2 - 3 min) to ensure they bake through.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, sugar, eggs, coconut milk, , apple sauce, oil, cinnamon, soda and salt - pretty much everything but the flour and fruit! Mix well with a whisk.
Mix in the shredded apple and chopped cranberries.
Gently stir in the flour and stir until just combined.

Drop the batter into a muffin pan (your choice if you prefer to use muffin liners).  My scoop measures 3 Tbsp and I can get about 15 - 18 muffins from this depending on how "overflowing" my scoop is.

Bake for 18 - 20 minutes.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing them from the pan.

Cook's Notes:
Palm Sugar: See Sugar 101 tab at the top of the blog.

Apples: I have done this recipe with both chopped and grated apple.  The difference is chopped apples still appear as small pieces and grated apple just breaks down into the muffin.  Both are equally great so do as you are lead.

Cranberries: I personally prefer smaller bits of cranberries verses a big berry in my muffin.  They can be a little tart in such a large bite.  I cut the cranberries into half and sometimes quarters before adding to the batter.  Fresh or frozen berries can be used in this recipe.

Spelt Flour: I have used whole spelt in this recipe very successfully.  Whole spelt is more "nutritious" for the body as the bran has not been removed offering more fibre and just overall less processing.  Similar in the difference of whole wheat to white flour if you are familiar with that.  You can use light spelt in this recipe as well and chances are the muffins will be fluffier and higher.  If I can get away with whole spelt, I do.  What do you prefer?

If we are being honest, I do enjoy mine with butter and most often have a hard time stopping at just one muffin!

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