Pumpkin Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats

2/3 cup white sugar

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin

1/2 cup non-fat yogurt

1/4 cup apple juice

1/4 cup skim milk

2 eggs

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

2 cups fresh blueberries

 

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 375F. Grease and flour two 12-muffin pans (or one 12-muffin pan and one 9-inch loaf pan).

2.  Combine all-purpose flour, quick oats, white sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves together in a large bowl.  In a separate, larger bowl, cream together the pumpkin puree, yogurt, apple juice, skim milk, eggs and butter.

3.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing by hand until the ingredients are just combined.  Gently fold in the blueberries.  Fill muffin wells just to the top, and fill the loaf pan about halfway.

4. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (aside from blueberry juice), about 30 to 35 minutes for the muffins and about 50 minutes for the loaf.

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Ricotta Corn Muffins

So I had 1/2 a cup of ricotta cheese left over from a big tub my husband used to make my birthday dessert, with the aforementioned tub also contributing to a vegetable tart earlier in the week.  Hmm.  Let’s see how it works with corn meal.

Ingredients

2 eggs

8 tbsp (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup sugar (white)

1/4 cup honey

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup skim milk

1 cup flour

1 cup yellow corn meal

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 400F.

2.  Cream together eggs, butter, sugar and honey using a hand-held mixer.  Add heavy cream and skim milk and beat on low for about 30 seconds, until combined.

3.  Mix in the flour, corn meal, salt and baking powder using a large spoon.  Stir in the ricotta.  Allow the batter to rest for 5 minutes.

4.  Grease the wells of a 12 muffin pan.  Fill each well about 2/3 to 3/4 with the batter.  Bake at 400F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick/tester/knife inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.  Turn out onto a cooling rack.

The verdict

There was enough batter left for a mini-loaf pan, which took about 45 minutes to bake, or perhaps another 4 muffins if you wanted to make a partial pan.

The muffins had a nice, golden color.  They didn’t have fat muffin tops, so I guess a little extra baking powder is in order for the next batch and perhaps filling the muffin pan wells a little more.

The muffins we extremely moist, perhaps too much so.  They didn’t have that nice moist but crumbly texture that works best for corn muffins.  There was some crumble at the surface, but no crumble in the middle.  Next batch, I think I will omit the skim milk.  And I think I might have to experiment with buttermilk instead of heavy cream.

Taste-wise, the muffins were great.  Just the right amount of sweet with a hint of salt, along with a nice note added by the honey.  I couldn’t taste the ricotta at all.  I guess it just contributed to the texture.  All in all, the 1:1 ratio of all-purpose flour to corn meal was much tastier than the 2:1 or 3:1 flour to corn meal ratios I’ve tried based on other recipes.