Every fall, a pumpkin turns up in our lobby with my name on it. It’s from the seller’s agent who sold me my condo years ago. The little sugar pumpkin usually appears bearing a recipe printed on orange paper rolled up in a scroll and rubber banded to its stem and a happy face penned in black marker.
Last year Miss Pumpkin even had a little Halloween bling with frilly black and orange ribbons. Fancy, Miss Pumpkin!
I decided I wanted to try making my own Miss Pumpkin purée for the attached recipe: Pumpkin and Raisin Muffins.
My first batch of pumpkin raisin muffins was a little underwhelming in flavor. Maybe it’s because I had softened the pumpkin in the microwave like I have done for spaghetti squash in order to purée it. I still had half of Miss Pumpkin left. So for the second batch I tried roasting the pumpkin, based on the instructions from The Gourmand Mom.
I also thought a nutty flavor would add an interesting secondary note to an otherwise ordinary muffin. I didn’t have quite enough walnuts so I combined toasted walnuts and hazelnuts and then grated them until fine in my mini food processor.
The end result was delicious! Plump raisins in a pumpkin-y muffin with just a hint of toasted nuts.
Pumpkin Raisin Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup firmly backed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup toasted and chopped walnuts or hazelnuts
1 cup pumpkin purée*
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a muffin tin.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a large bowl. Stir in the raisins, set aside.
Toast the walnuts and hazelnuts in a pan on the stove top stirring frequently just a few minutes. Be careful not to burn the nuts. If using hazelnuts, rub toasted nuts in a tea towel to remove skins. Blend in a food processor until fine. Whisk into flour mixture.
In a separate bowl, beat together the pumpkin purée, eggs, milk, and butter. Fold into flour mixture until combined.
Divide among 12 muffin cups, filling each tin about 2/3 full. You may have enough for an additional muffin or two. Or just make giant muffins.
Bake for 25-30 minutes in the center of the oven until well risen and golden, and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Leave in muffin tin for 1 to 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut the pumpkin in half, remove stem, seeds and pulp. Turn the pumpkin face down in about 1/4 inch of water. Bake for 90 minutes. Scoop out the softened flesh and pass through a blender to purée.