Sunday, December 6, 2009

Spiced cranberry muffins with pecan nuts

We've been in the new place for a week now - so I thought I should give the oven a real trial run before I attempted to make the best cheesecake ever (his favourite!) for Food Critic Andrew's birthday celebration. It is a fan forced oven and I was still getting used to it. Perusing the website, which I am a big fan of, I came across this recipe for Spiced cranberry muffins with pecan nuts. Now the recipe probably won't stay there forever, so I've copied it to this site as well, and hopefully the good folks over at the taste website won't mind too much. I've changed it slightly; I thought that there should have been more cranberry, less ginger. The tastes really develop overnight, so if you can make them before you go to bed for the next day!.

Instead of adding chopped pecans to the top (as per the "Taste" website recipe), I just added a half pecan and sprinkled demerara sugar over the top. They were rather delicious, and made me rather nostalgic. I grew up on a banana farm, and our wonderful next door neighbours, the Donnans had an avocado farm, with a grove of pecan trees (amongst other things). Their daughter, Kerry and I were similar in age, and were occasionally sent down to gather pecans from around the trees. We thought it was utterly great, because we were paid a small amount per bucket. We did spend a lot of time eating the pecans though, and probably didn't realise (or care) that we were eating into our profits. So whenever I eat pecans now, I am transported back to those carefree times. It is amazing how tone single taste can instantly transport you back to somewhere else. That is part of the beauty of food, I think.

This recipe made about 5 large muffins, and a dozen mini muffins. ( I really need to buy another mini muffin pan!)


1 and a bit cups (170g) dried cranberries
2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
3/4 cup (155g) brown sugar
1/2 cup (70g) pecans, coarsely chopped
1 and a 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 cup (185ml) buttermilk
1/2 cup (125ml) vegetable oil
1 egg, lightly whisked

halved pecans, extra to top
1 tbs demerara sugar, extra


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line 12 x 1/3-cup (80ml) capacity muffin pans with paper cases.
  2. Place the cranberries in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 10 minutes to soak. Drain well.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, pecans, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cranberries in a large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, oil and egg together in a jug. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined (do not over mix). Spoon evenly among the lined pans. Combine the extra pecans and sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle over the muffins.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when tested. Turn onto a wire rack. Serve warm.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see the move is "done", and you're back to the good stuff! I picked cherries in my youth, and did we ever indulge... We're in our last 2 weeks in Aus... boo hoo. Must return. I will keep watching from afar.