This is one of my favorite recipes from The Well Traveled Fork in Bend, Oregon. On my Central Oregon trip, Chef Bette shared all of the recipes we made at her culinary experience class. Technically, this is an alternative flour muffin recipe. I've adapted some of the ingredients in Chef Bette's recipe to use less sugar and elected to bake it like a cake, but in a pie plate.
This "pie" is so moist! It doesn't contain any wheat flour - so it's gluten-free. Instead, the recipe calls for a combination of white rice flour and buckwheat flour.
Did you know? Buckwheat is actually a fruit seed in the rhubarb and sorrel family? Who knew??? It's high in magnesium and fiber. Here's a link to whfoods.org, where they offer some good information about this wonderful food.
Factoid: I own a small buckwheat hull pillow. It's hefty, but conforms to the weight of my head or my seat. I've used it for years without worry about allergens or mold.
For the recipe, I was able to easily purchase and use local organic eggs, pumpkin, butter, applesauce, agave, maple syrup, and prunes. Organic chocolate chips were a bit more elusive, but Amazon, Equal Exchange, and Wholefoods' 365 brand are good resources. I bought my flours (Red Mill) from Wholefoods, noting they also carry organic spices.
Devil's Night Muffin "Pie" Ingredients
I used organic for everything!
8 T. butter, melted
1 c. sugar (I used: 1/2 c. cane sugar + 1/4 c. applesauce + 1/4 c. maple syrup. You can also use agave if you prefer.)
3/4 c. white rice flour
1/3 c. buckwheat flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder (look for Aluminum-free)
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. allspice
3/4 c. pumpkin puree (I used Trader Joe's organic)
1/3 c. chopped pitted prunes
1/3 c. chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375°. Mix butter, sugar combo, & eggs in a large deep bowl. If you've got a stand mixer, go for it! I used an electric hand mixer on low. Beat a full 3 minutes if you're using my adaptations. The addition of applesauce and syrup makes a "wetter" mix. If you opted for the sugar by itself, mix until light and fluffy. Add remaining ingredients in the order listed.
Chef Bette's Tip? Alternative flours need a lot of air.
My "pie" adaptation tips? The thing to remember is that if you're trying my adaptation, after you've mixed the butter, sugar, and eggs, mix the remaining ingredients for at least another 3 full minutes. You should see some swells in the bowl. As Bette said, alternative flours need a lot of air, so don't be shy about giving your muffin "pie" mix a good turn on the dance floor.
Pour the lot into a lightly oiled pie plate.
Another tip? Organic sunflower oil tolerates high temperature.
Yet another tip? You can make this recipe without cane sugar!
Use only 3/4 c. applesauce and 1/4 c. (or less) maple or agave syrup. It's still yummy!
Bake 20 minutes. Test the center with a toothpick or flat butter knife. It may need more time. You want the center to have some yummy-gooey goodness going on, but you don't want it wet, so give it another 10 minutes if need be, then test again until the toothpick or knife comes out clean. Remove the awesomeness and cool on a wire rack.
So good warm just as it is! The muffin "pie" will keep covered on the counter for up to 3 days, if you can restrain yourself. Or pop it in the fridge away from sneaky fingers.
Wait there's more!
It's Me Heather Lea Sage Sprinkle Topping
fresh cooking sage leaves
Use a mortar and pestle or lava stone to grind ingredients. Personally, the lava stone is so appropriate since I learned the recipe in Bend, Oregon - lava field all around!
Sprinkle on the muffin "pie" or dip cut slices into the Sprinkle before each bite. Yeah, you know I was all over that.
The muffin "pie" is wonderful without a topping, but it's fun to experiment with additional flavor!
Finally, remember you can stick with the original recipe without adaptation. And you can also make muffins from the original and my adapted recipe. Keep in mind that you're using tins, so 20 minutes baking time should be fine. Always test though. Cool 15 minutes and pop 'em out! Try it!
Another Chef Bette tip? Use an ice cream scoop to fill the lined muffin tins. It makes for an even measure and more uniform baking.
~It's Me Heather Lea