Pumpkin Bran Muffins

Pumpkin and Kale in my father's garden!October brings lots of weather to October – snow, rain, and summer weather and this year I think we’ve had it all.  One thing I count on, though, is buying pumpkins.  In years past I have filled my freezer with frozen pumpkin pulp, but this year, there are two of them sitting in my front bay window, keeping cool.  Our freezer this year is small and there is no room for three pumpkins in it!

In Ontario this fall, I picked up something I’d never seen before – Spelt bran.  Then began my search to find a recipe to use it.  I bake with kamut or spelt flour, but I haven’t had a bran muffin in years!  I weeded through the “bran cereal” recipes (Give me the pure, unadulterated stuff please!) when I remembered my recipe off the side of the Quaker Natural Wheat Bran box.  I’ve had this recipe since I first made muffins in 8th grade and  I love it!  But it was time for a make over and this is it.  It makes 12 muffins

The Original Recipe                                     Marcia’s Pumpkin Bran Muffins

1/4 cup shortening                                       1/4 cup oil

1/2 cup brown sugar                                    1/4 cup sugar, or more if desired.

1/4 cup molasses                                           1/4 cup molasses

2 eggs, unbeaten                                             2 eggs, unbeaten, just a bit mixed up

1 cup water                                                        1 cup fresh or  frozen pumpkin pulp*

1 cup all purpose flour                                  1 cup spelt or kamut flour

1- 1/2 tsp. baking powder                              1- 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda                                        1/2 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. salt                                                          1/2 tsp. salt

1 – 1/2 cups wheat bran                                   1 – 1/2 cups spelt bran**

1/2 cup raisins, optional                                  1/2 cup raisins, not so optional***

*My pumpkin pulp is pretty watery, so I wouldn’t recommend using the canned stuff.  Last time I looked at it, it was pretty solid.  You could try this with applesauce as well.  It has about the same consistency.

** While I found Spelt bran at the Bulk Barn in Hillcrest Mall (Ontario) I haven’t had much luck finding it in Calgary.  I’m going to try rice bran, but how much gluten does wheat bran really have – in a pinch I’ll use that!

***This recipe was written long before we started seeing dried cranberries, blueberries, etc.  in our stores.  Be as adventerous as your budget allows. I personally don’t consider the raisins an option!

STEP ONE: Mix the bran with the eggs, oil, pumpkin, and raisins, and let them sit while you do everything else.  This allows the bran to soften a bit.

STEP TWO: Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and get your muffin pans ready.

STEP THREE:  Mix together the dry ingredients.  Make sure there are no lumps in your baking soda (Yuck!) Add to the wet ingredients.  Mix until just combined.  If you find the batter a little dry, add some water or milk, or juice or whatever.  Try not to overmix the batter.

STEP FOUR:  Place in prepared muffin tins. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes.

This recipe is under constant revision – as are all my cooking adventures!  So far, everyone who tried these muffins liked them, so I hope you do too!

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