I roast and puree a sugar pie pumpkin. Just the name gets me singing “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch” (I can’t help myself! ) These are available at produce markets such as Berkeley Bowl or Monterey Market. They are slightly smaller than a basketball, and are more fleshy and less fibrous than a Halloween jack-o-lantern pumpkin. If you must, use canned pumpkin, but it won’t be quite as good.
Pierce pumpkin several times and place on oiled roasting pan. Roast at 450 for 45 minutes until soft. Remove to a plate, and cut off stem. Use a knife to coax the peel off; it should easily come off. Let the pumpkin cool enough to handle while you mix the dry ingredients and whip the fats and sugars. Then put the flesh of the pumpkin in the food processor and process until smooth. It should make between 1 1/2 to 2 cups, depending on the size of the pumpkin. Measure 1 cup and reserve the extra for future muffins or Pumpkin Pie.
Makes 12 muffins
Preheat oven to 350’
4 Tb butter at room temperature
2 Tb olive oil
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1/3 cup 1% or skim milk
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs at room temperature
¾ cup unbleached white flour
¾ cup finely ground whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp garam masala (optional)
½ tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup pureed roasted pie pumpkin
½ cup pepitas (green, shelled pumpkin seeds)
½ cup broken walnuts
Add lemon juice to milk and let it sit while you while you mix the dry ingredients and whip the fats and sugars.
Sift dry ingredients into a medium bowl.
Whip butter and oil for a few minutes, then add sugars and whip five more minutes at high speed, stopping to scrape the bowl a few times. Add eggs and beat, then add pumpkin puree and vanilla, beating until well combined.
While beating on the slowest speed, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients, ½ the milk mixture, another 1/3 of the dry, the rest of the milk, and then the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix only until combined. Add the pumpkin seeds and walnuts and stir in briefly.
Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups and bake 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. cool on wire rack and enjoy!