As autumn approaches, one vegetable that stands out is pumpkin. The renowned Californian chef, Thomas Keller, has dedicated a savory and spiced muffin recipe to it in his boulangerie concept, Bouchon Bakery in Yountville.
*Recipe from the book Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel (Artisan Books)
*Muffin photo by Deborah Jones
Vegetable Pumpkin, the quintessential autumnal vegetable, has been immortalized by the writer Gina Lagorio: "I greet you and praise you, my cheerful and kind pumpkin, defenseless and generous, spontaneous and smiling, you climb effortlessly, effortlessly you cast shade, effortlessly you bestow flowers, leaves, and fruit. You ask for very little in return... I could no longer believe it was possible for the pumpkin to become synonymous with stupidity. But then, adapting to one's condition and giving one's best, is it a sign of stupidity?... And even the candid Ariosto uses it for a reductive metaphor: that of wild hopes that fall with the same fury with which they grew. 'It was already a pumpkin, which rose sublimely...' I can forgive him, precisely for the beautiful conciseness of that expression, sublime indeed, much like the pumpkin's graceful and whimsical growth., arabesque and elevation, écarté and croisé of a true prima ballerina of vegetables."
The great Californian chef, twice awarded three Michelin stars for Per Se and The French Laundry (which boasts a vegetable garden and a green star), combines it, according to tradition, with spices, creating a recipe sure to satisfy. It is featured in the book he dedicated to his boulangerie concept in Yountville, titled Bouchon Bakery.
Pumpkin muffin recipe by Thomas Keller
- 180g of flour
- ½ teaspoon of baking soda
- Cinnamon powder to taste
- ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
- A pinch of ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
- 210g of granulated sugar
- 265g of canola oil
- Nearly a full cup of pumpkin puree
- 100g of beaten eggs
- 70g of white raisins
Place the flour in a medium bowl. Sift in the baking soda and spices, add the salt, and mix with a whisk.
Combine the sugar and oil in a blender container and mix at low speed for about 1 minute. Add the pumpkin, increase the speed to medium-high, and incorporate the eggs in two steps, working for about 15 seconds each time, until well combined.
Gradually add the dry ingredients, working at low speed for about 15 seconds each time, until combined.
Remove the blender container, scraping the bottom to incorporate any dry ingredients that may have settled. Fold in the raisins, if using. Transfer the batter to a covered container and refrigerate overnight or for up to 36 hours.
Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F). Line the muffin tins with paper liners and spray them with a non-stick spray. Use a pastry bag or a spoon to fill the molds, stopping about an inch from the top.
Bake, reduce the temperature to 160°C (325°F), and bake for 45-48 minutes until golden, checking that the inside is dry with a toothpick. Transfer the molds to a rack and let them cool completely.