Showing posts with label pomegranates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pomegranates. Show all posts

Monday, May 5, 2014

Pomegranate and Pistachio Muffins with Pomegranate Glaze #MuffinMonday #Gluten-free

My first foray into gluten-free baking is this pomegranate and pistachio muffin, both ingredients that are common in the Middle East and look pretty together besides. Pomegranate juice and sugar cooked down to a syrup make a beautiful sticky glaze that will hold your extra pistachios and pomegranate arils on after baking. 

Baking gluten-free is a new challenge for me but one I handled with my usual three-pronged approach to cooking and baking things unfamiliar. 1. Lots of research 2. A bit of daydreaming, then 3. Just jump off the cliff. Turns out that baking gluten-free has a couple of caveats, like add more liquid than usual and stir until completely and thoroughly blended, even when it comes to muffin batter. But otherwise, it’s not that tricky. I took these pretty babies along to my weekly ladies Bible study this morning because one of our members is gluten-intolerant and it was my turn to bring snacks. The muffins were completely and utterly demolished. But, best of all, no one would have even guessed that they were made with a gluten-free flour mix. I figure that is the greatest endorsement of all.

For 18 muffins:
1 1/2 cups or 240g gluten-free flour blend (I used Dove Farms.)
3/4 cup or 150g sugar
1/2 teaspoon xanthun gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup or 120ml canola or other light oil
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk *
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup or 125g slivered or chopped pistachio kernels, divided
2 cups or 250g pomegranate arils, divided

* A good substitute for buttermilk is one tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar added to a measuring vessel and topped up with milk to one cup or 240ml. Stir and allow to rest for five minutes before using.

For the optional glaze:
1/2 cup or 120ml unsweetened pomegranate juice
1/4 cup or 50g sugar

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Generously grease a 12-cup and a six-cup muffin pan or line both with paper muffin liners.

Combine the flour mix, sugar, xanthum gum, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a large mixing bowl.

In another bowl, whisk together oil, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla.

Add all the milk mixture to flour mixture.

Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the flour is completely mixed in. This is going to be thinner than your average muffin batter. Trust.

Set a good handful of the pomegranate arils and the slivered pistachios aside and then fold the rest of both into the batter.

Divide your batter relatively evenly between the 18 muffin cups.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until muffins are golden and toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

While the muffins bake, put your pomegranate juice and the sugar into a small pot on the stove. Bring to the boil and stir until the sugar has dissolved.

Turn the fire down so the juice is just bubbling slowly and cook until the liquid has reduced by half. Turn off the fire and allow to cool a little.

When the muffins are done, remove the pan from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before removing muffins and cooling them further on a wire rack.

When the muffins are cool, drizzle on the pomegranate syrup and decorate by sprinkling with the reserved pomegranate arils and pistachio slivers. If the syrup has hardened up, loosen it by gently warming over a low fire and stirring until it is able to drip off a spoon again.


One of my ladies, the lovely Cheryl-lynn, thought you all might need proof that the muffins were devoured with relish.

Told ya! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Halloumi, Tomato and Pomegranate Salad

Here’s the part where I am supposed to tell you a lovely story about this salad and how to make it.  And I surely will!  But today is special because, for the very first time, I am guest blogging at Cooking with Books for the talented Marnely.  At first, I was nervous to put my virtual hand up when she was looking for guest volunteers because food bloggers who are actual qualified chefs sometimes intimidate me.  But Marnely isn’t like that at all!  In fact, I connected with her through two Facebook groups.  One is all about professional development but the other is called The Cookbook Junkies.  How can you not like someone who would join a group like that?!  Truth be told, it is not a self-help group because we tend to encourage each other in our addiction - sharing new cookbook finds and good-naturedly competing for cookbooks giveaways - but isn’t that how bonds of friendship form?  I knew at once that she was my kind of people.  First of all, she is into food.  Secondly, she is an expat like me, since she moved from her home in the Dominic Republic to live in the United States.  Lastly, and this may be my favorite reason of all, she has written a love letter to beets.   As a lover of beets, I only wish they could be a staple in my home.  Deep sigh. 

So hop on over and read my post and have a browse around Marnely’s site.  I know you are going to love her too!