While pumpkins are not native to Ireland, they are in great demand during the autumn, from Halloween straight through to Christmas. In the U.S., we use pumpkins and other winter squash varieties in many sweet and savory dishes, always enticed by the look of a supermarket display or a roadside stand selling the colorful beauties! These muffins are perfect for breakfast, but sweet enough even for afternoon tea or for a tasty dessert. You’ll find other delicious autumn recipes in my cookbook Teatime in Ireland. Order signed copies at irishcook.com

NUTTY PUMPKIN MUFFINS

MAKES 30 MUFFINS

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons mixed spice or pumpkin pie spice

2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups sugar

1 (15 ounce) can pure pumpkin

4 large eggs

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Softened butter, for spreading

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Coat two standard muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, mixed or pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. In a separate large bowl, beat sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and juice with an electric mixer on medium speed until blended and smooth; stir in flour mixture and nuts.
  3. Transfer batter to prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 full, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in centers comes out clean.
  4. Remove from oven and cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove muffins from pans and let cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter.
  5. Serve immediately spread with softened butter, or store in covered container for up to three days.

 

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