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Crumb-topped Pumpkin Muffins

Fall is the season for squash of all kinds – pumpkins, butternut, acorn and many other types, and I love them all. Sometimes there can be too much of a good thing however. After making the stuffed pumpkin from my previous post, we finished all the stuffing and some of the pumpkin flesh, but after three days, we were still left with a lot and were bored with eating buttered pumpkin again. Rather than continue to eat it all as a vegetable, I took some of it and whirred it in the food processor to use in these muffins.

I found the recipe on the internet from a website called Celebrating Sweets, and let me tell you, the muffin part was delicious and a great way to use up some of the leftover pumpkin, but that crumb topping — oh my. It just took the muffins to a new level. I think I’m going to keep cooking up more pumpkins just to have the leftover for these muffins. Or maybe I’ll just buy a can of pureed pumpkin instead and make it easy on myself. I may pour the batter into a cake tin and make this as a cake next time.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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Crumb-topped Pumpkin Muffins
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • scant ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour see note
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup canola, vegetable or melted coconut oil
  • 1¼ cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon icing:
  • 5 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons milk more, if needed
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  2. In a medium bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon, salt, and melted butter.
  3. Whisk until combined.
  4. Add flour, and stir until the flour is combined.
  5. Set aside.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  8. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin, or line with paper liners.
  9. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon/spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  10. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, brown sugar, oil, pumpkin puree and vanilla, until combined.
  11. Add flour mixture, and stir until combined (I use a rubber spatula), being careful not to over-mix.
  12. Divide the batter between 12 muffin cups.
  13. Pinch off small pieces of the crumb topping and scatter them over the tops of each muffin.
  14. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.
  15. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan and place on the rack to cool completely.
  17. Whisk all ingredients until smooth.
  18. Adjust the consistency by adding more powdered sugar (to thicken) or more milk (to thin). Use a small spoon to drizzle icing over the tops of the cooled muffins.

Finally – A Ricotta Pound Cake that works – with blueberries and a crumb topping too!

 Have you ever tried a recipe two or even three times, following it to the letter, only having it flop for no discernible reason? It happened to me when I made a ricotta poundcake that other bloggers raved about. I respect the author of the recipe and love her other recipes, but her ricotta pound cake never worked for me, no matter how meticulous I was in following the recipe. So when I looked for a recipe to accommodate the blueberries and ricotta in my refrigerator, I approached this one with trepidation.

Still, I dove in, taking a few precautions, just as I had done with the prior ricotta pound cake recipe. For example, I made sure all the ingredients – eggs, ricotta, butter, blueberries, were at room temperature. I drained the ricotta for a few hours to decrease the water in the cake.
Throwing caution to the wind, I decided to change the recipe a bit and add a crumb topping. OK, this could ruin the cake I thought, but when I saw how thick the batter was, I knew the crumbs wouldn’t sink to the bottom. And they didn’t. They remained on top, baking to a golden crunchy crispness.
The cake itself has a tender, buttery crumb and just a hint of lemon. I might increase the lemon zest next time just a bit. But even without more lemon zest, it’s just about perfect.

This is definitely a recipe worth keeping — and a cake worth baking over and over again – with or without the blueberries. I think my search for a good ricotta pound cake has finally ended.

Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Cake
Adapted from Simply
my notes in red
printable recipe here

1 3/4 cups (250 g) all purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup (8 ounces, 230 g) ricotta cheese
(I used 1/2 of a 1 lb. container. After I drained it for several hours, half of the container weighed only about 7 ounces)
1 1/2 cups sugar (300 g)
3 large eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1 T. lemon zest
1 cup blueberries (5 ounces, 140 g)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. (160 degrees C). Prepare a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, smearing the inside with butter. In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

2 Use an electric mixer (you can mix by hand but will get better results if you use an electric mixer) to beat together the butter, ricotta, and sugar, on high speed, for 3 minutes, until pale and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on medium speed for one minute after each addition. Mix in the lemon zest and vanilla extract. Don’t worry if the batter looks a little curdled at this point. It isn’t curdled, it just looks that way.
3 Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the dry ingredients in 3 or 4 additions, until just incorporated. Do not over mix. Stir in the blueberries.
4 Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing out the top with a rubber spatula.
Optional: Cover with the crumb topping.
 Place on a baking sheet on the middle oven rack of the oven. (This will help moderate the temperature at the bottom of the pan.) Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, (I baked it for 1 hr. 20 minutes) or until a toothpick comes out clean. For the last 10 minutes of baking you may want to put a sheet of aluminum foil over the top of the pan to keep it from browning further.
5 Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes in the pan. Then run a dull knife around the edge of the cake to make sure it is separated from the pan. Gently remove the cake from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. Let cook completely before slicing.Crumb Topping (optional):
1/8 c. white sugar
1/8 c. light brown sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1/2 stick butter, melted
3/4 cup – 1 cup flour

Melt the butter. Mix the sugars and spices and add the melted butter. Then stir in the flour. It should be damp and lumpy enough to form clumps.

Yield: Serves 10 to 12.