Years ago I found the perfect muffin recipe printed in our local newspaper. Several moves and the recipe disappeared. I tried other recipes but it wasn’t the perfect muffin recipe I knew and loved. Then I discovered my favorite cookbook writer, Ina Gartner’s muffin recipe; deeply flavoured, gorgeously moist and chock full of good things like chunky bananas, raisins and walnuts. I’ve adapted her recipe, and you can vary this recipe by substituting well drained and diced pineapple chunks and other dried fruits.
|GOOD MORNING Chunky BANANA Cranberry BRAN MUFFINS||
- 2 cups unprocessed wheat bran
- 2 cups buttermilk shaken
- ½ cup (4 oz) unsalted butter (or a quality margarine) at room temperature
- ½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- ½ cup cooking molasses
- 2 tsp grated orange zest
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 cups raisins
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 2 cups large diced bananas (2 bananas cut into ¼ inch slices then cut in half)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Line muffin tins with paper liners.
- Combine the bran and buttermilk and set aside.
- In a large bowl add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk to combine and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
- With the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time.
- Scrape the bowl and then add the molasses, orange zest, and vanilla. (The mixture will look curdled.)
- Add the bran-butter milk mixture and combine.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the batter and mix just until combined. DON’T OVER-MIX IT!
- Gently fold in the raisins, bananas and walnuts with a rubber spatula.
- With a large spoon fill the muffin cups right to the top.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool in pans.
Silicone muffin pans versus regular muffin tins.
There is a love/hate relationship with Silicone muffin pans. The silicone pans turn out fragile cupcakes and muffins beautifully without sticking or crumbling. However you need to know how to use them. If you are buying a silicone muffin pan or any silicone product, buy the absolutely best you can find. Cheap versions sometimes have an unpleasant smell and don’t perform properly. The silicone muffin pans are wobbly when filled. Put them on a cooling rack before filling. Then carefully slide the cooking rack and filled silicone muffin pan into the oven. Do not put them on a cookie sheet. The bottom of the muffins will sometimes burn. The cooking time for silicone muffin pans is a little less than the regular pan.
I cooked one half of the muffins in a regular muffin pan with paper liners, and other in the silicone. The silicone pan came out the winner.
(muffins in foreground yet to be baked)