Pineapple Pecan Muffins

P1120371

Three years ago I was living back in the States (Boston) and working a 3-month internship at America’s Test Kitchen, home of Cook’s Illustrated magazines and cookbooks.  As part of “graduation” from the internship program, we did a “muffin project” (I promise there will be no more ” ” in this article….) which involved developing a unique muffin recipe and writing an article about it in the style of Cook’s Illustrated magazine.

P1120323

I challenged myself to create a muffin sweetened only with fruit – no other added sugars.  After much late-night tinkering in the kitchen and bribing friends and family to taste “just one more muffin” (sorry, broke my promise), I came up with a recipe that was not only naturally sweet and chock full of healthy ingredients, but tasted really good as well.

P1120318P1120336

My secret was a combo of fruit juice and raisins heated on the stove and pureed once reduced to a sweet concentrate.  Plus I folded chunks of sweet pineapple into the finished batter to ensure an extra burst of sweetness with every bite.

P1120343P1120347

Once the project was complete, I couldn’t even look at another muffin for months.  Now three years later I’m rifling through recipes from my ATK days and found this one.  The passage of time helped heal my muffin wound and I made this recipe with happy thoughts back to my days in Boston and at ATK….and to what was probably one of the first food recipes I developed.

P1120364

Pineapple Pecan Muffins (makes 12 large muffins)

Note:  If using canned pineapple, buy pineapple slices (a 20 ounce can provides 1 cup of juice). Lemon zest can be substituted for the orange zest.  Apple juice or another sweet fruit juice can be substituted for pineapple juice.  Though golden raisins are preferred for their lighter color, regular seedless raisins can be substituted; the muffins will be slightly darker in color (I used regular dark raisins for the batch in the photos as I couldn’t find golden raisins at my store in the UK).

1 cup (250 ml) pineapple juice

¾ cup (100 grams) raisins, preferably golden

3 very ripe bananas

2 eggs

4 tablespoons (55 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

¼ cup (60 ml) vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 ¼ cups (85 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats

1 ¼ cups (170 grams) whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup (100 grams) pecans, toasted and chopped coarsely

1 cup (175 grams) small pieces of fresh or canned/tinned pineapple (pieces should be no more than ½-inch or 1.25)


Preheat oven to 375º F (190º C).  Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

Combine juice and raisins in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until only a small amount of liquid remains (when you run a spoon along the bottom of the pan, a wake should briefly appear – see pics above).  Remove pan from heat and cool slightly, about 5 minutes.  Transfer warm mixture to food processor and process until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl at least once.

In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with a fork.  Whisk in the juice/raisin puree, eggs, butter, oil, vanilla and orange zest until combined.  In a large bowl, whisk oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.  Stir in the pecans.  Using rubber spatula, fold banana mixture into flour mixture until just moistened.  Gently fold in pineapple until just combined.

Using ice cream scoop or large spoon, divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly – they’ll be quite full).  Bake until muffins are golden brown and toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean, 15-18 minutes, rotating muffin tin halfway through baking.  Let muffins cool in tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Breakfast and Brunch

3 responses to “Pineapple Pecan Muffins

  1. Jan Schroeder

    Katie–thoroughly enjoying your recipe blog. I look forward to see what you’ve come up with every time. Such a lot of talents you have–keep on blogging for sure. Janice in TR

  2. Pingback: Apple and Walnut Charoset | Two Aprons

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s