About a month ago I sat on the patio of my in-laws condo and I ate my very first pomegranate of the season. The plump, crimson seeds were still a little tart and made my cheeks pucker but they were just sweet enough to make me forget that my fingers, shirt and face were stained ruby red. Popping those little red jewels in my mouth was everything I expected and more. The girls were even excited to get the few that lost their way to my mouth.
Let me be the first to tell you that I am not a fan of fall or winter foods. I know that may make some of you gasp but let me explain myself. I’ve learned that it’s really not the food that I don’t love – it’s the short days that make me feel lazy, the frigid air that makes me warm my car up for ten minutes before getting in (even in San Diego) and having to put my beloved tank tops and flip flops into the “summer box” not to be brought out until April. And though I like to blame the food I’ve recently learned to find comfort in the roots, soups and pomegranates that will sustain me until it’s time for spring.
There is something about that first anything of the season that is nostalgic and for me the pomegranate reminds me of the holidays and how addicted I am to that odd little fruit. I also remembered that a woman I knew for only a short period of time, who also shared my love affair with the pom had given me her recipe for ginger and pomegranate muffins and for some reason I filed it away and forgot about it until now.
As soon as I finished making a mess of myself and that pomegranate I marched myself right into the kitchen, fired up the kitchen-aid and got to work on those muffins.
The batter is unique in that it’s more like a cake batter than a muffin batter which makes for a nice moist, slightly rich muffin. It’s a batter that can stand up to the strong flavors of candied ginger and tart pomegranates. It’s almost like the creamy, velvety mixture wraps it’s arms around the ginger and sassy poms and says: look girls, we are going to join each other in harmony and be one big delicious bite of fall heaven. The girls agree and with a sprinkle of raw sugar on top the muffins go into the oven and come out 16 minutes later plump, golden with yummy red ornaments sprinkled throughout.
This would make a great addition to any holiday brunch or whip up a batch a eat them all week for breakfast. That’s what we do 🙂
Pomegranate Ginger Muffins
20 minutes prep time, 16 minutes baking
Makes 12 muffins.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup minced crystallized ginger. Stay away from the spice section. You will pay an arm and a leg. Look where dried fruit and nuts would be at the market.
Zest from one lemon
1-1/4 cups pomegranate seeds. Look for big, red fruit.
1 cup milk
1 large egg
1/4 cup melted and cooled butter
1. In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in crystallized ginger, lemon peel, and pomegranate seeds.
2. In a mixing bowl (or kitchen-aid) blend milk, egg, and butter. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer. Stir just until batter is moistened; it will be lumpy. Spoon batter into 12 or 24 mini buttered muffin cups filling each almost to the rim. Sprinkle with 1-2 teaspoons sugar. Bake in a 425 degree oven until lightly browned, about 16 minutes for large muffins and 13 for small. Remove muffins from pan at once.