Cozy up to these delicious muffins this autumn – the walnuts add a bit of texture to the devilishly spiced pumpkin treat and are the perfect accompaniment to your morning cup of coffee. Muffins in their current form (or, American style – made without yeast) are commonly found in 19th century American cookbooks while their English yeast-based counterpart are known much earlier (first found in print in 1703 spelled moofin, it became popular throughout the 18th century. Remember the famous nursery rhyme ‘The Muffin Man’ who lived on Drury Lane)? This American version will be the envy of your brunch party, or, play a trick on your guests and serve them warm with a bit of cream or vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Pumpkin Walnut Muffins (Makes 24)
½ cup/ 113 g unsalted butter
¾ cup/ 180 ml pumpkin puree
¼ cup/ 60 ml buttermilk
2 large eggs
3 tbl maple syrup
1 vanilla stick, seeds only
2 cups/256 g flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup/ 165 g packed brown sugar
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup/122 g chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 400 F/ 205 C.
- If making your own pumpkin puree:
- Dice the pumpkin and toss with ½ tsp nutmeg.
- Sauté in a large pot with olive oil.
- Add ½ cup/ 118 ml water, cover and let cook until fork tender.
- Using a hand blender, puree the pumpkin and pass through a sieve. Measure out ¾ cup and set aside.
- Melt the butter and let cool slightly. Grease the muffin tin with some of the melted butter.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, pumpkin puree, buttermilk, eggs, maple syrup and vanilla seeds. In another larger bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Whisk in the brown sugar.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add in the pumpkin puree mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in the walnuts (keeping some aside for the top of the muffins).
- Divide the batter into the muffin tray and sprinkle the remaining walnuts on top.
- Bake for 15-20 min or until puffed up. Serve warm with a bit of cream for dessert, or room temperature with your morning coffee.