The early morning light over the mountains promised a beautiful day. Red, gold, and brown leaf statues are frozen in time outside on the wet, crisply frosted lawn. I linger a bit longer over my cup of hot coffee. The wind picks up, moving and shifting the landscape, creating new formations which scatter across the hill. The beautiful sunrise gave way to a bright morning as I headed toward the kitchen with new ideas.
These pumpkin muffins are perfect for a cool, fall morning. I wanted a hearty muffin but not a heavy muffin with extra sugar. I wanted to strike a balance between texture and spice. I cut back on the sugar component by using pureed raisins, a touch of brown sugar and a little molasses. I wanted to complement the pumpkin so I added some roasted apple slices that I chopped up finely. I wanted a textural muffin so I added a sprinkle of oats and craisins into the batter. I had some extra crisp and crumb topping from other projects so I added that in as well. This was either going to be a tolerable or terrible, I thought as filled the muffin tins with the pumpkin batter.
Expectation. I had abandoned all expectations of how this was going to turn out. I was practicing…it started with letting go. I had an idea, I ran with it and either way I felt a sense of calm and peacefulness about the situation. If it were not going to work out then I would find myself embracing imperfection. Life lessons from the kitchen.
It pays to listen to your instincts.
- Inspired by King Arthur Flour's Thanksgiving Muffins
- 1 C. pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 C. raisins (soaked overnight and pureed)
- Scant 1/4 C. brown sugar
- 3 T. coconut oil, melted
- 1 T. molasses
- 1/4 t. ginger
- 1/4 t. cloves
- 1/4 t. cardamom
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1/2 C. milk (I used almond milk)
- 3/4 C. all purpose flour
- 3/4 C. white whole wheat flour
- 1 t. baking powder
- 1/2 t. baking soda
- 1/4 C. roasted apples
- 1/4 C. oats
- 1/4 C. craisins
- Crumb Topping
- Preheat the oven to 400*. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- 2 apples, cored and thinly sliced and mixed with:
- 1/2 T. lemon juice
- 1 1/2 T. brown sugar
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1/2 t. cornstarch
- sprinkle of nutmeg, allspice and salt
- 1 T. of butter cubed
- Roast the apple slices for 15 - 20 minutes until caramelized and delicious.
- In a medium sized bowl combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, craisins, oats and salt.
- In large bowl, whisk to combine the pure pumpkin, eggs, coconut oil, pureed raisins, brown sugar, molasses, milk and spices.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and gently fold together until there are a few streaks of flour visible. Add in the roasted apples and finish incorporating the last of the flour. Cover the bowl with clean kitchen towel, let the batter rest for 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 400*.
- Prepare a muffin pan either with muffin liners or grease the pan. Fill the muffin tins 3/4 of the way full, top with crumb topping if using, and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Run a knife around the edges of the warm muffins to turn them on their side in the muffin cup, let them cool slightly, before transferring to a cooling rack to completely cool off. Muffins will last, in an airtight container or well wrapped, for at least 3 days (we ate them all!)