Life, Left Over

Food Friday – Pumpkin Muffins and Pepitas

Posted on: October 14, 2011

Welcome to the last day of Pumpkin Extravaganza! Today we’re finally going to cook and EAT the pumpkins! You can use the pumpkin pureé from yesterday’s post. If you have made too many other recipes and are now out of pumpkins, you can also use canned pumpkin. One 15-ounce can is approximately equal to 2 cups of pumpkin pureé. If you get “pumpkin pie filling,” it’ll already have spices and sugars in it (and who knows what else), so be careful, and adjust the recipe to fit what you’ve got!

Ingredients for Pumpkin Muffins:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups pumpkin
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup brown sugar

Equipment:
muffin tin (and papers if desired)
several measuring cups
large bowl
fork for stirring
spoon for distributing batter

This recipe will follow the Muffin Method. Those of you who are familiar with that can toddle off and make it. 🙂 I adapted this recipe myself, but you can find dozens of others with a simple click over to Google. I like mine because it uses sweetened condensed milk, which is thick and syrupy. I think it yields softer, moister muffins.
Everybody preheat your oven to 350° F and prepare your muffin pans.

First thing you want to do is combine the sugar, baking powder and soda, spices, and salt in a bowl. (If you’re using salted butter, leave out the salt.) In another bowl (or large measuring cup), combine the pumpkin, butter, condensed milk, and brown sugar. (You can substitute 1/2 cup of evaporated milk for the condensed, but your batter will be wetter. You may also want to add 1/4 cup of sugar if you do this substitution.)

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and use a fork to mix them. Incorporate all the flour mixture (dig down to the bottom of the bowl), but the batter will be slightly lumpy. If you see any small dry pockets while you’re distributing the batter, that’s okay.


Keep stirring.

Using a spoon (or a disher if you’re really fancy), distribute your delicious batter into the muffin pans. I got a dozen average-sized muffins and nearly 2 dozen mini muffins this time.

Bake them at 350°. The baking time will vary depending on the size of your muffins. I go for about 20 minutes on standard muffins, and about 8 for minis. When in doubt, guess, and be extra-diligent on your toothpick test.

Yesterday, when we were processing our pumpkin flesh, we ended up with a bowl of seeds. I hope you didn’t throw them away, because they can quickly and easily be made into delicious pepitas! There are many recipes out there for these as well; I’m going to use my preferred method. I’m using the spices called for in this recipe on Food.com.

Ingredients:
pumpkin seeds
various spices / sugar
egg white

Equipment:
colander
baking sheet
large bowl

Pour your seeds into the colander and give them a good wash. Pick out any “duds” you find. Lay them out on paper towels and pat dry. If you want, you can “hull” your seeds now (remove the light-colored outer coating), but I prefer to hull them while I’m eating them. Your call.

You will need about one egg white for every 2 cups of seeds. Beat your egg white until frothy. The egg white will help the spices to stick to the seeds. Dump all of your ingredients – seeds, egg, spices, sugar – into a large bowl and toss until the seeds are well coated.

Spread them out on a baking sheet (spray with nonstick spray!) and bake at 350° for a while. The reference recipe I used said 20, but mine took closer to 40. Give them a stir every 5 minutes or so, and watch for them to become golden and dry.

Let them cool, and store in an airtight container. If you left the hulls on, you’ll need to crack the hull to reach the inner seed, just like eating sunflower seeds.

This concludes our Pumpkin Extravaganza! I’ll be spending the weekend carving and eating all the pumpkins I can get my hands on – how about you?

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