Monday, March 3, 2014

Orange Maple Yam Corn Muffins (gluten-free)

Mouthwateringly cute with a sprinkling of buttery pecans

I got the idea for these from a recipe the HeartMath kitchen used to make years ago. Thinly sliced yams tossed with melted butter, orange juice and maple syrup, baked until the juices caramelized in the most unbelievable way. My mouth is literally watering just thinking about that dish! So I thought, I should make that into a muffin! Et voilà!
If you're in a part of the country where what we Californians know as yams don't exist, look for the "sweet potatoes" with the darker skin and orange flesh. You don't want traditional sweet potatoes with the light brown skin and yellowish beige flesh. While delicious in their own right, they are too starchy for this.

These muffins are moderately sweet - just enough to feel like a treat. How sweet they come out will depend on your yams. Take a taste of the yam once it's baked and if it's very sweet, or you're sugar-sensitive, you may want to reduce the maple syrup to 3 Tbsp. 

I had to modify the recipe slightly as I used my homemade orange marmalade which is quite different from traditional marmalade. It is lightly sweetened with a small amount of coconut palm sugar, making it significantly less sweet than storebought and giving it a slightly darker flavor due to the caramel-y coconut sugar. I carefully thought through the replacement ingredients to make sure your muffins come out just as scrumptious as my originals!

Makes 12 muffins


120 grams (1 cup) Pamela's Baking Mix
140 grams (1 cup) cornmeal
1 Tbsp (12g) coconut flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
1 medium organic yam (yielding 3/4 cup mashed)
1/4 cup grade B maple syrup (the darker the color the deeper the flavor)
56 grams (1/2 stick) butter
56 grams coconut oil
2 Tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate
2 Tbsp homemade orange marmalade (or 1 packed Tbsp orange zest + 1 Tbsp OJ concentrate + 1 tsp molasses)
1 tsp vanilla
3 extra large eggs
1/4 cup raw pecans, chopped

Moist and tender with a wonderfully crunchy top

Preheat oven to 400. The yam doesn't need to be washed too thoroughly as you'll be discarding the skin. Pierce yam in several places to allow steam to vent. Place a piece of aluminum foil directly on the oven rack and the set the yam in the middle. Bake for 45 minutes or until a fork goes in easily.

While yam is baking, place pecans in a small bowl, cover with hot water and let soak.

When yam is done, remove from oven and set aside to cool. Reduce oven temp to 350 and grease a standard muffin tin.

When yam is just warm, slice off ends (not much, just woody tips) and remove skin. Mash up a bit and pack down into measuring cup. You will need about 3/4 cup for the recipe.

Put yam flesh in a food processor with butter, oil, vanilla, orange juice, marmalade and maple syrup and blend until smooth.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs until frothy and then whisk in yam purée. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal and cinnamon until color is uniform. Using a wooden spoon, stir dry ingredients into wet a handful at a time until the mixture is smooth. Make sure to break up any lumps.

Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups, smoothing with wet fingers if desired, and sprinkle tops with pecans pressing them lightly into the batter. Bake for 20 minutes until tops are golden and firm to the touch, and a toothpick comes out clean.

Serve warm with butter and enjoy every last bite!

Let cool completely before storing.

Storage Tip:
  • As with most GF baked goods, these muffins don't love the fridge - they dry out and get hard. And while you can soften them back up by wrapping in a damp paper towel and microwaving for a few seconds, they won't be the same wonderful texture they were before. So, I'd recommend storing them in an airtight tupperware at room temperature for up to 3 days and then freeze the leftovers, if there are any ;-) Either defrost them at room temp overnight or wrap in a paper towel and microwave on low (90 secs on power level 3 works for me), then crisp up the tops in the toaster oven.

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