I had the most joyful time at Soukup Farms watching them make maple syrup. I can’t get enough of that stuff. The darker grades of maple syrup are packed with the strongest maple flavour. By law, all grades of maple syrup have the same percentage of sugar, but to get the full maple flavour through a recipe like this you should use the darkest syrup you can get your hands on. I’ve been dreaming up a maple pecan muffin recipe ever since.
This recipe contains no refined sugar, is low in gluten and is packed with whole grain goodness. I used locally milled wholemeal barley flour that I found at the farmers market here in Washington DC; I thought the earthy flavour of barley would work well with the maple. I’d not eaten steel cut oats before, but really wanted to try them while I was in the Sates. I’ve only ever had rolled oats before, but the steel cut option is widely available here. They have a great chewy texture when they’re cooked, which I thought would provide another great textural element to these muffins. I found the tartest, most fragrant apple I could find at the farmers market, to provide the freshness needed to really make these delicious muffins pop. If you can get your hands on maple sugar, it makes a wonderful topping for these muffins.
Makes about 12 muffins
|½||cup||steel cut oats|
|2||cups||wholemeal barley flour*|
|1||pecan nut pieces|
|250||millilitres||dark maple syrup|
|2||tablespoons||maple sugar (optional)|
* You could use wholemeal wheat flour if you want, but barley flour is low in gluten, so using wheat flour will effect the texture of the muffins.
Place the apple juice and oats in a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 200oC.
Combine the barley flour, cinnamon, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Cut the apple into quarters and discard the core. Grate the apple into the dry ingredients. Add the pecans and mix.
Make a well in centre of the dry ingredients. Add the oats and soaking liquid, maple syrup, melted butter and beaten egg. Mix till just combined.
Line a muffin pan with paper baking cups. Fill each cup to the brim with the muffin batter. Bake in a preheated oven for eighteen minutes or till the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with maple sugar. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Eat them warm from the oven, or freeze them to add to lunch boxes.