Last night we closed all of the windows and this morning we’re padding around the apartment in thick socks. Fall is shouldering her way into Portland and summer is gently following the geese south. I’ve been talking about fall a lot lately. I think we all have. She appeared quickly this year, as summer was a small town. Blink, and you missed it.
Fall is also my favorite season. If you’re lucky to live in a region that has seasons, the vibrancy of summer changing into fall is awe-inspiring in the northern states.
The changing leaves always entice me and my camera and soon I’ll be sharing some pictures of autumnal Portland. For now, I’ll share a recipe.
I found inspiration in Kim Boyce’s recent cookbook Good to the Grain. Even if you don’t like to bake, I encourage you to pick up this book. Or at least spend some time with it in the bookstore. It is visually gorgeous. Cozy and comforting like fall, Quentin Bacon’s photography truly captured the essence of Boyce’s recipes.
My carrot muffins are a little different that Kim’s. I prefer my muffins to be more savory than sweet so I chose to forgo the streusel topping. I also replaced the brown sugar with maple syrup and I tossed in a few teaspoons of poppy seeds because, well, it sounded nice. I didn’t have any buttermilk on hand so I used coconut milk with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Replacing powders with liquids is a little tricky, so instead of using a full cup of coconut milk, I reduced the amount of coconut milk by four tablespoons.
These are the sort of muffins that will make your apartment smell wonderfully homey. I wanted to share them with some friends, but Adam said I wasn’t allowed to share. He wanted them all to himself :)
What you’ll need:
1 cup spelt flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup sugar (I used a bit less than that)
1/4 teaspoon each cloves and nutmeg (or use 1 tsp allspice)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 teaspoons poppy seeds
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup grated carrots (my carrots were small so I used 3-4)
1/2 stick butter melt and slightly cooled (Kim prefers unsalted, but all I had on hand was salted)
1 cup minus 4 tablespoons coconut milk or buttermilk
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar if using coconut milk
Preheat oven to 350. Generously rub muffin tins with butter.
Sift all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Stir carrots into dry mix.
Using a small bowl, whisk butter, egg, coconut milk and apple cider vinegar together. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and give it a good stir.
Spoon (I used an ice cream scoop) batter in to muffin tins so the batter is just mounded above the edge of the tin.
Place in oven and bake for 30–35 minutes, rotating the pan once halfway through.
The muffins will be a beautiful dark golden brown when they are ready. Remove the muffins from the oven, and twist the muffins out of the tin placing them on their side. This is the coolest trick out of Kim’s book. Placing them on their side to cool helps them to stay crusty. Neat, huh?
Serve with some hot tea and a slab of butter on the muffin.