Monday, October 28, 2013

Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins

Really, I haven't made these in three years?  Perhaps it's because putting both pumpkin and cranberries in anything seems like Thanksgiving overkill.  Or, because then you need something to do with the rest of the can of pumpkin.  In this case, it is what I'm doing with the rest of the can from the pumpkin risotto.

The reason the L.A. Times posted this recipe originally was because it is very low fat for a muffin.  Pumpkin is one of those veggies that take the place of fat in a recipe, like prunes.  If you use egg substitute and nonfat milk in this recipe, each muffin has only 142 calories, 1 mg of cholesterol, and 2 g fat.  They're also not huge like bakery shop muffins.  They are the size muffins used to be before people started to want more food for their money than was good for them.  I call it the "Claim Jumper Effect".

A fair warning for those who have never had a cranberry outside of jam or juice: they're tart.  Like "why did anyone ever think these were edible" tart.  It makes a wonderful flavor contrast against the creamy sweetness of the pumpkin, but it's a bit of a shock the first time you try it.

*1/2 C canned pumpkin purée
1 egg or 1/4 C egg substitute
3/4 C nonfat milk (1% or 2% is ok)
2 Tb canola oil
2 C cake flour
1 Tb baking powder
*1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
*1 tsp ginger
*1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C dark brown sugar, packed
1 C fresh cranberries, finely chopped (my onion chopper worked great here)
1/4 C granulated sugar

1.  Combine pumpkin, egg, milk, and oil in a small bowl.  Start preheating oven to 400º and lightly butter 12 nonstick muffin cups.

2.  Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt into a large mixing bowl.  Stir in brown sugar to mix.  Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour liquids into it.  Sprinkle with cranberries and stir just until ingredients are moistened.  If there are lumps, let the mix sit for five minutes before portioning instead of stirring again.

3.  Divide mixture evenly between the 12 muffin cups.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let muffins sit in the pan for 1 minute, then invert onto wire rack.  They may need some convincing with a thin knife.  While still warm, roll in granulated sugar, then allow to cool completely.

Makes 12 muffins

Difficulty rating π

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