Today while I was rearranging the pantry I decided to check some of the use by dates. Now I am not a stickler for tossing things that have passed their dates, but sometimes you just have to draw the line. I found a jar of capers that had gotten shoved to the far corner of the bottom shelf with a best by date of '06 and several jars of chow chow that should have been used by '11. It was quite easy to toss all of those, but some of the other items were harder to call. For example, I had 4 cans of pumpkin, three of which are still in the current date period, but one was dated 12/15. I decided to go ahead and open it, smelled it, and declared it fine. Well fine with one small codicil. It had to be cooked for at least 20 minutes at a temp over 300.
The odd thing about all this is I am not a pumpkin fan at all. I bake one pumpkin pie every Thanksgiving for TheHub who eats 2 slices, sticks it in the fridge and 3 days later I throw it out. Every year is the same. Bake, Slice, Chill, Toss. So why did I find 4 cans in my pantry? I have no idea. And the even bigger question was what would I make to use this can. I thought about pumpkin soup but I really and truly do not care for it at all, saw a recipe for the Starbucks pumpkin latte (gag) and finally decided to just make muffins. Edible? Yes! Heavy pumpkin taste? Not at all! Have a recipe handy to use pumpkin? Kinda (My applesauce muffin recipe would work fine)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spices (normally apple pie spices) I used cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, mace, allspice, cloves and black pepper. I have no idea the exact amounts but I used more cinnamon than anything and used the rest in descending amounts in the order I typed them. If you are in doubt just use some of the pre-blended pumpkin spice.
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups sugar (For the apple sauce muffins I use half brown and half granulated. For these I just used granulated.)
1 can pumpkin (1 1/4 cup applesauce if making the apple sauce muffins)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water/orange juice/apple juice (Your choice. I used apple juice because I found a bottle in the pantry)
Add ins, optional
pumpkin flavored baking bits
grated orange peel (would be great if you used orange juice for the liquid)
In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients, including the sugar. Whisk well to combine everything. Add all the wet ingredients and stir until well blended, but do not over mix.
Spoon into well greased muffin tins. Makes 24 regular sized muffins or 48 mini muffins. I have no idea how many jumbo muffins this will make because: ( a ) I didn't make any ( b ) I don't own any jumbo muffin pans to try it even if I had wanted to.
Bake at 350 for about 18 minutes (less if using mini muffin tins)
I made half of these regular muffin size and added mini chocolate chips to the other half, which I baked in mini muffin tins. I thought the chocolate addition was so-so, but I am not a big chocolate and spice fan. Son2 had some and loved them. My mother thought they were delicious until I told her they were pumpkin muffins, when she declared she couldn't eat any more than 1 because she hates pumpkin. Go figure!
I am having many houseguests during the Thanksgiving week and this might be on one day's menu. Next time I think I will use orange juice, toss in some orange zest and add toasted pecans to the batter.
Now go stir up something delicious or at least stir up some trouble!