I was asked back to the Montclair Farmers’ Market to meet and greet neighbors and talk about Cooking With Friends. It’s always a nice day, running into people I know and meeting new folks who ask what CWF is all about. There are always smiles as people discover I’m all about food, friendship and the fusion of the two. What’s not to like? I’m also happy to talk about the private cooking sessions and parties I now offer in people’s homes.
As part of my appearance, I like to bring a little taste of something made with seasonal and local ingredients. Over the summer I brought lemon blueberry muffins and this time, I thought pumpkin muffins made with fresh puree of pumpkin would be perfect. Since I preferred not to make them alone, I invited Jackie to join me. She didn’t have the time to make a homemade pumpkin puree so she brought a can of Libby’s instead. This proved to be an interesting test between fresh and canned. My muffins produced a subtle tasting pumpkin, while Jackie’s had a much stronger “pumpkin” flavor. The color was the most striking difference with hers turning out bright orange while mine yielded a mellow orangey color. Topped with a delicious crumble of sugar, flour and melted butter, both pumpkin muffins were outstanding and real celebration of fall.
What’s your preference? Canned or fresh?
Here’s my recipe using fresh pumpkin (but if you’re short on time go ahead and use canned). Someone at the market told me she uses organic canned pumpkin that doesn’t have a florescent orange color. I thought that was a helpful tip if you’re not into a brightly colored muffin.
Pumpkin Muffins with a Crumble Topping
Makes 42 mini muffins
1 cup canola oil
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 ½ cups (or 2) fresh pumpkin puree*
3 cups white flour
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until crumbly. Set aside.
1 cup white flour
½ cup brown sugar
5 tablespoons melted butter
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Beat the oil with the sugars, egg and vanilla. Add the pumpkin puree. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and blend well.
Spray mini muffin tins with baking spray (and use liners if you’d like). Spoon the batter ¾ full into each muffin. Sprinkle a generous amount of crumble topping on each and bake until the center is firm, approximately 12 minutes.
*Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a sharp knife, cut a pie pumpkin (or other baking pumpkin) in half. Remove the seeds and bake in face down in a baking dish for an hour or so until the flesh of the pumpkin is fork tender. Let the pumpkin cool and then scoop out the flesh and puree in a food processor or blender until smooth.