I bought a Kent pumpkin, although no one at the check out stand knew what kind of pumpkin it was.  I told them, “It’s a Kent pumpkin.” But the prices listed were only for butternut and acorn squash.  They decided to ignore me, and then both agreed it was a dumpling squash.  It was a Kent pumpkin, which is about five times the size of any dumpling squash, but I didn’t argue with them.  Sometimes grocery clerks can only believe varieties that are in the book with a code next to the name– and sometimes we are lucky to have some extra varieties sneak in to the produce section, like this Kent pumpkin did.

Kent Pumpkin

Kent pumpkins, as I learned from the winter edition of my new favorite cooking magazine, are also called Japanese pumpkins, and they are easy to peel and delicious roasted.  The magazine is published in Australia, and I kind of like having a winter addition at the end of summer here– so I can be thinking ahead (I don’t often cook what I read about right away).  But the thing I love about it is that even though it is super glossy and everything looks beautiful and delicious– there are over 60 recipes in this one edition, and very few ads relative to other magazines.  It comes out six tmies per year, and the recipes are very diverse– kind of Euro, but also plenty of South Asian fare.  Several recipes for pumpkin (although not these muffins, which are my own creation) and even how to make several kinds of curry paste yourself, flourless cakes, and more.

You can of course use canned pumpkin, but really, this will have less flavor and make the batter much more runny.  Making the pumpkin for this recipe is so easy, just requires a bit of forethought.  It is not as complicated as pumpkin pie pumpkin, which needs to a certain consistency for a custard.  This is easier– you dont have to freeze the pumpkin and then press the liquid out.  Just cut it in half, remove the seeds, and place it face down in a baking dish.  Cook on 450 degrees for one hour.  Let cool.  Scoop pumpkin flesh into a bowl.

The consistency of this Kent pumpkin was a bit on the starchy side– like a baked sweet potato.  But very flavorful.  The texture makes it good for using in savory dishes as well, which is what I did with the first half of my Kent pumpkin.

These muffins are intentionally less sweet– I don’t like my muffins to be like cake, and I don’t think the pumpkin and apples need a lot of sugar to taste right.  Also, there is plenty of moisture in these (often sugar provides moisture and makes for a nice crumb in cakes and breads– but with this much squash and apple, it isn’t a factor).  These muffins have about 9-10 grams of sugar each, which is half of most muffins, if you can believe it.

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

makes one dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 lb roasted pumpkin
  • 2 medium apples, grated on a large cheese grater (I used fuji)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil or similar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp allspice or cloves
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together wet ingredients: pumpkin, apple, sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla.  Use a hand mixer on medium-high speed until well blended.   Set aside.
  3. Whisk together remaining ingredients, and gradually combine with wet ingredients using mixer on low and then medium.  Batter should be thick but not dry.  If you use canned pumpkin, it will be thinner, and you may want to add 1/4 cup more flour if needed.
  4. Scoop into 12 lightly greased muffin tins.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
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