Tuesday, November 23, 2010

GF Pumpkin Muffins with Cranberry Pecan Streusel

I had half a can of pumpkin puree in the fridge and was also craving muffins today, so I decided to take this serendipitous moment to create a new recipe.  I'm pleased to report:  success!  The only problem is that I decided these were so good they'd be perfect for Thanksgiving morning, and now I have to hold off on eating them all.  And seriously, I think I'm gonna whine to myself like a 5-year-old for the entire next two days over my self-imposed prohibition.   

The muffin is spongy, yet light and crumbly, which to me is the perfect texture.  These bear no resemblance to the usual dense, grainy hockey pucks you sometimes get when you buy a gluten-free muffin from a bakery unskilled in the finer points of baking sans gluten. 

I seasoned these lightly with the traditional pumpkin pie spices of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves.  Not enough to overpower, yet just enough for a hint of autumn in each bite.  The secret ingredient in the batter was applesauce.  I like this as a substitue for oil not just because it makes the muffins lighter and healthier, but also because it adds a hint of sweetness, almost as if I had used apple cider in there. 

To top off the muffins, I decided to crumble a little streusel mixture made from pecans, dried cranberries, brown sugar, rice flour, and Earth Balance margarine.  The topping gets nicely caremelized in the oven, making the first bite a perfect combination of crunchy sweetness mixed with spongy cakiness.

This is gonna be a rough two days.  I may just have to make another batch. 

GF Pumpkin Muffins with Cranberry Pecan Streusel
(yield: 12 muffins )
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 Tbl ground flax seed mixed with 3 Tbl water
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup rice flour
1/3 cup GF flour
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg

In a food processor, pulse together until crumbly yet still chunky:
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 Tbl brown sugar
1 Tbl rice flour
1 Tbl Earth Balance margarine
pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper muffin cups. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, flax seed mixture, sugars, molasses, vanilla and oil. In a separate bowl, sift together flours, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Combine the two and gradually add enough water (about ¼ cup) to make the batter pourable, yet still thick. Scoop batter with ¼ measuring cup into muffin cups, filling them ¾ of the way full. Sprinkle streusel on top of each. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until muffins are springy, yet firm. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan only a few minutes; remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the GF Pumpkin Muffin recipe. Since I don't have tapioca starch, is there something I can substitute? How about corn starch?

Mary Lawrence said...

Yes, corn starch would be a good substitute, though you may want to use a little less of it since it tends to make the muffin texture a little "tough."