Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Old-Style Pumpkin Muffins

These days when you buy a muffin, it's likely to be huge and taste as sweet as cake. This wasn't always so. I'm old, and when I was growing up, muffins were only slightly sweet. They were usually fairly plain. You ate them when they were freshly-baked and warm, with butter and honey or jam. They were served as part of a meal, typically breakfast, and they were considered to have nutritional value.

My girls went to Bernice M. Wright Nursery School. It was a cooperative school, and one of the parental responsibilities was to provide the snack periodically. According to the snack policy, you could take in home-made items, but not cake or cookies. One time when it was my turn for snack, I baked muffins. Carrot-Pineapple Muffins. All of the adults loved them and asked for the recipe. I always "forgot" to take them the recipe, because I used my Carrot-Pineapple Cake recipe. I just baked the batter in muffin tins and didn't frost them. Because I called them muffins, they were perceived to be nutritious.

I won't say that most muffins ever were all that nutritious, but there is definitely a lot more sugar in most muffins today than there used to be.

The pumpkin muffin recipe I used today is from an old Betty Crocker cookbook, which was the "new and revised" edition in 1978.

I tweaked the recipe a little bit, but these are still old-style muffins. They should be eaten while warm, with butter and honey or jam.

Pumpkin Muffins, 1978-Style

Stir together and set aside:
2 C whole wheat flour (8.5 oz.)
1/3 C sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

In a large bowl, beat:
1 egg
Add and stir in:
¾ C milk
¼ C canola oil
¼ C unsweetened applesauce
½ C pumpkin
½ C raisins

Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients all at once, just until flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy). Fill 12 greased muffin cups about ¾ full. Bake at 400°F for about 20 minutes, until tops spring back when lightly touched. Remove from tins and cool on rack.
My tweaks: I used flour made from soft white wheat. The original recipe called for all-purpose white flour. It called for 1/2 cup vegetable oil and didn't specify a type. I prefer canola oil for something like this. Also, I almost always cut the amount of oil in half and replace it with unsweetened applesauce, as I did in this recipe.

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