Pumpkin and Rosemary Muffins

I wrote this in November, when pumpkins had been whisked away for Halloween, so I had to substitute a butternut squash. To cook a small amount of pumpkin, dice into cubes and place in a pan with just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and pop on a lid, slightly askew. Boil/steam for 5 to10 minutes and top up with water if needed. Drain and use. These muffins don't rise loads but they have a flavorsome, moist crumb.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 12 muffins
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Vegetable oil or oil spray, for oiling

2/3 cup/3 1/4oz/90g all-purpose flour

2/3 cup/3 1/4oz/90g cake flour

1 cup/4 1/2oz/130g whole wheat flour

2 1/8 tsp baking powder

1/2tsp baking soda

Good pinch of salt

3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, very finely chopped

1 3/4 cups/8 1/2oz /240g cooked pumpkin (about 1 small wedge), cut into 1/4 in (5mm) dice. Ready-cubed, uncooked squash is available in the supermarket

2 eggs, lightly beaten

scant 1/2 cup/4floz/100ml plain yogurt

1 generous cup/10floz/275ml milk

3 big squidges of honey

1/4cup/21/2floz/60ml vegetable oil

Handful of pumpkin


Special equipment:
12-hole muffin pan
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Cut out 12 squares of parchment paper measuring about 5 1/2 x 5 1/2in (14 x 14cm). Oil the muffin pan and push the squares down into each hole so the paper sticks up just like the muffins you can buy in the coffee shop. The squares have a habit of popping up out of the holes, which is okay for now because once the muffin mix is spooned inside the squares will stay down. Alternatively, use ready-made paper muffin cases. 
  3. In a large bowl, sift the flours, baking powder, and baking soda, then stir in the salt and rosemary. If there is any whole wheat left in the sifter from the whole wheat flour, keep this for the topping. 
  4. In a medium bowl, put the rest of the ingredients, apart from a third of the pumpkin, and stir well so all the liquid is well combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and, using a large spoon and no more than 8 turns, mix all the ingredients together. It does not take much to over-mix muffins at this stage and although the end result will still taste sublime the texture will not be as tender. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes, then spoon the mixture into the paper cases. 
  5. Sprinkle the whole wheat, reserved pumpkin, and the pumpkin seeds over the muffins. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the muffins are well risen and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  6. Good for breakfast, good for lunch, and good for just about any time of the day for a snack. For canapes these can be made in mini muffin cases as mouthful morsels of scrumbunctiousness.