After a great many trial-and-error attempts, I finally hit upon the perfect lactose-free blueberry muffin recipe last February. (I posted the recipe on my blog at the time, as Corrin’s Perfect Blueberry Muffins.) Later in the spring I created a pretty amazing lactose-free German Chocolate Cake, which I never got around to blogging — but since then, I haven’t done much with experimental cooking. Until yesterday afternoon.
Late last week, we both developed a bit of a craving for pumpkin bread-ish things. I’ve never been happy with any of the pumpkin breads, pumpkin muffins, or pumpkin pancakes that I’ve made in the past; the liquid-to-solid ratio has always been off in one direction or the other, creating a crumb that seems soggy or like sawdust. I figured that it couldn’t hurt to experiment with creating a recipe of my own; worst case scenario it would be as inedible as the others I’d made, and we would throw away the effort.
It was so far from the worst case scenario. Darkly spiced, barely sweet, soft, incredibly moist, chewy, with a gorgeous crust barely hinting at crispness — these aren’t perfect yet, but they are so, so good. I’ll settle for calling them Yummy Pumpkin Muffins.
- 1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into the measure and leveled
- 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda, scant
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 5-1/3 TBSP butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup of pumpkin purée (the remaining almost-half of a can will freeze well)
- 3/4 cup of Silk plain soy yogurt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar, well packed
- Combine the spices in a tiny preparation bowl and stir until completely mixed.
- Sift together the dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Add the spices and mix thoroughly. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
- Cream the butter by hand with a pastry blender. When it is light and fluffy, add the pumpkin purée and yogurt, and stir until smooth. Crack the egg into the mixture and stir until fully incorporated. Add the brown sugar and stir until it’s dissolved.
- Add the spiced dry ingredients all at once and stir as little as possible, only until the flour, etc are combined into the liquid.
- The resulting dough will be very thick, not at all resembling a pourable batter. Using a spoon and a rubber spatula, fill each of a dozen muffin cups with the batter — stud with chocolate chips or nuts if you choose.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until done.
Next time I’ll increase the sugar a little — a heaping 1/2 cup should do it — and cook them a little less — the full 30 was a hair too long, as the undercrust is chewier than I like. I’ll stir the chips into the batter, rather than dropping them on top, and I might try pastry flour instead of all-purpose, too. But I think we have a winner!