Recently, I was excited to find not one, but three different kinds of ginger at the farmer’s market!
It seems Georgia’s hot and humid summers are ideal for growing tropical plants like ginger…as long as you don’t expect them to make it through the winter. While I was standing in line to buy the ginger, there was a lively discussion about how to grow ginger. It sounds like all you have to do is bury the roots in the ground in the spring and dig them up in the fall. Maybe next spring I’ll plant a few knobs and see what happens. The farmer selling the ginger also had gorgeous ginger flowers for sale so it might turn out to be a pretty experiment.
Ginger in hand, my mind turned to my favorite ginger muffins from Marion Cunningham’s The Breakfast Book. (I promise to share my souped-up version in a later blog post.) Since it’s the pumpkin everything time of year, I felt compelled to combine those delightful ginger muffins with the pumpkin bread I make for my sweet college girl. Combining the pumpkin and ginger evenly was not to be. In my hybrid muffins, pumpkin is upstaged just a little bit by scene stealing ginger in fresh, dried and candied form. Adding the always desirable pumpkin pie spices perfectly complements the pumpkin and triple ginger flavors. A small hit of molasses invokes both pumpkin pie and gingerbread.
I borrowed the idea of a candied ginger topping from my quadruple ginger scones. (I seriously have a thing for ginger!) The crackly-sugar crust with bits of ginger add just the right amount of flavor and texture to the top of the muffins.
In the end these earthy, enticing fall muffins are exactly how you would imagine them to be. They capture the spirit of warm and welcoming pumpkin muffins providing a home for lively and alluring ginger muffins. Be careful as these muffins may bring out the muffin thieves in your family. I made a batch of extra large muffins to use for a picture on this blog and when I left the kitchen for a moment, one of the muffins magically disappeared. It was almost midnight and I thought everyone was sleeping. My teenage son was caught with muffin paper in hand. He apologized and said he just couldn’t resist the smell which woke him up!
Triple Ginger Pumpkin Muffins
2 ½ cups cake flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
2 tsp dried ginger
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg (fresh ground is best)
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground allspice
1 cup unsalted butter
¾ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup white sugar
2 Tbs molasses
2 eggs and 3 yolks from large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbs freshly grated or finely minced ginger
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 ¼ cup pumpkin puree
3 Tbs minced candied ginger
Candied Ginger Sugar Topping
Mix ¼ cup finely diced candied ginger with ¼ cup white sugar. A small food processor can be used to make it easier to chop and mix the ginger and sugar together.
- Bring all ingredients to room temperature before starting recipe
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin liners in muffin tins.
- Sift first 9 ingredients together and set aside
- In large mixing bowl on medium speed cream butter, sugars and molasses until well mixed and lighter in color
- Add eggs and yolks one at a time, incorporating each one completely before adding the next. Scrape down bowl when batter creeps up the side of bowl.
- Add vanilla, fresh ginger, yogurt, pumpkin and candied ginger and mix until well combined. It is okay if batter appears to break a bit.
- Gently fold in flour mixture until just combined.
- Fill each muffin about ¾ full with one ice cream scoop of batter. Sprinkle ginger-sugar mixture evenly over muffins. (Alternatively drop batter into greased metal 9×5 loaf pan and sprinkle ginger-sugar evenly over batter. If I am making gifts for friends I also bake batter in multiple paper baking pans.)
- Bake muffins until a toothpick inserted comes out clean with no batter clinging to it; about 15-20 minutes. Try not to overbake or muffins will dry out.