Friday, December 14, 2007
Pumpkin Fruit Bread or Muffins, Part 2: Advance Prep, and. . . Ze Recipe!
In these parts I have something of a reputation as Muffin Czaritza, that's Princess of Muffins. Having muffin tins and cupcake liners helps *alot* - that's old news to Stateside muffin makers but not around here. Other than that, advance prep is The Key.
While waiting for the breakfast oatmeal to cook, maybe a day or two before muffin-baking day, I use that 15 minutes to organize ingredients as per the photo:
Dry ingredients measured out and combined.
Liquid ingredients measured out, in individual containers: eggs cracked in small container, butter measured out, pumpkin puree – pumpkin already cooked, mashed and in the freezer.
The extras: Dried apricots cut up, raisins measured out. Nuts already chopped and on hand.
Actually that takes a couple of 15 minute sessions. But then on muffin-baking day it's just a matter of combining it. That takes just 15-20 minutes and it's all in ze oven. Ingredients pictued above are for a double batch. Recipe follows.
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Pumpkin Fruit Bread - or Muffins
2 cups pumpkin
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup softened butter, margarine (5 ½ oz)
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
½ cup hot water
1 cup raisins and/or dried apricots, chopped
1 cup chopped walnuts
1) Bring water to the boil and pour it over dried fruit. Let soak an hour or so. 2) In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to whip the butter, gradually add in sugar until light and fluffy. Then gradually add the eggs and pumpkin pulp. (I switch from mixer to wooden spoon at this stage.) 3) In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients together then stir in the pumpkin mixture. Mix only until dry ingredients are moist and somewhere in this process, add the fruit and water plus the nuts. Don’t beat or over-mix. 4) Scoop into muffin tins or bread pans. Prep bread pans by oiling and use baking paper on the bottom to prevent it sticking and. . . a broken heart.