Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Harvest Corn Muffins

Let the pumpkin cookery begin! The poor pumpkin is delegated to an almost exclusive decorative role in America. With the exception of a pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, most of us don't eat pumpkin any other time of the year. In France you can buy slices of several varieties of pumpkins at the farmers market to cook for your dinner. There are hundreds of kinds of pumpkins grown around the world and so many ways to eat them. Every year I buy some pie pumpkins, roast them, eat some mashed with butter and salt and puree the rest for freezing. Joe loves Pumpkin Pie, it was the first thing I ever cooked for him, and he had never had one made with fresh pumpkin. If you never have cooked your own pumpkin then pick up one of the small round ones next time you are at the grocery store and get crackin'. Here's how to make your own pumpkin puree. I couldn't have said it better myself.
These muffins are a loose adaptation of a recipe in this cookbook. It is full of great wholesome recipes for families. The wonderful thing about it is that each recipe has a footnote telling how that food can be served to a baby so you can cook one thing and feed anyone from 6 months old and up. I'm all about making my own baby food so this was right up my alley. Now about these muffins, I cut the butter/oil and maple syrup in half and substituted part white flour for the whole wheat flour. I have since made them with all whole wheat flour and they are delicious that way too. Once I made them with oil and applesauce and then with butter, we didn't notice any difference, so use what you prefer. Start out by gathering up all your ingredients.
My dry ingredients are combined in the big bowl. In the bag is my thawed pumpkin puree and I have oil, eggs and applesauce. Any baked good can have applesauce substituted for part of the oil or butter so I used some here. Also, a note about corn meal. Here in Arkansas we have a water powered grist mill that grinds fabulous cornmeal. It is whole grain meaning it contains the germ of the corn kernel. If at all possible find some whole grain cornmeal to use instead of the degerminated cornmeal sold in a grocery store. You should be able to find good cornmeal at a health food store or order online from a grist mill. You won't regret it. The flavor, not to mention the nutrition is a world apart from the sandy grit sold as cornmeal.
Harvest Corn Muffins
1 1/2 cup of corn meal
1 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour, or use 1 cup whole wheat and 1/2 cup unbleached white flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup of pumpkin puree
1/2 cup of milk
1/4 cup of oil or melted butter, or 2 Tbls. oil/butter and 2 Tbls. applesauce
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
2 eggs

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Whisk together the pumpkin, milk, oil/melted butter, honey/maple syrup and eggs. Stir gently into the dry ingredients and spoon into a greased or paper lined muffin tin. Don't you love paper muffin liners? They are practically my best friend.
Bake for 25 minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven. Cool for a few minutes then place in a napkin-lined basket and serve. You can serve them on a platter if you want but they taste better from a napkin-lined basket. Makes 12 hearty muffins. Naturally they are delicious with a big bowl of hot steamy soup.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

I enjoyed reading your sentiments in this post as well as your recipe!