Tart London pumpkin, cinnamon and pecan muffins with maple butter recipe

These remind us of the bakeries in Toronto where Jemima was born. Just the smell of the little golden muffins cooking makes us want to cancel our plans and get tucked into bed with cups of tea, a good TV series and a couple of these, warm from the oven and slathered with salty maple butter. You could replace the pumpkin with sweet potato or use an alternative flour – we like white spelt flour as it gives a nutty depth.

Laura Edwards

MAKES 6

200g pumpkin, cut into 5cm chunks and seeds scraped out
100g butter
120g brown sugar, plus a pinch for the tops
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g white spelt flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp sea salt
50g chopped pecans (reserve a pinch for the tops)
generous pinch of porridge oats for the tops

FOR THE MAPLE BUTTER

100g butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of sea salt

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6 and line a baking tray with baking paper. Line a 6-hole muffin tray with paper cases.

2. First, make the maple butter. Beat the butter in a bowl with a wooden spoon until soft and creamy. Add the maple syrup, cinnamon and salt and beat until combined. Turn out on to a big piece of clingfilm, roll it around the butter to make a sausage shape, then twist the ends to seal. Place in the fridge to firm up.

3. Put the pumpkin pieces on the baking tray, sprinkle with a little water and bake for 20 minutes until cooked through and soft (check by poking them with a knife). Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 190C/gas 5. Scrape the flesh from the skins with a spoon, then mash with a masher or fork until smooth.

4. Whisk together the butter and sugar until fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract, then the pumpkin purée.

5. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, spices, sea salt and chopped pecans. When combined, fold the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture.

6. Use a spoon to fill the muffin cases to the top with the mixture. Mix the oats with the reserved pecans and brown sugar, then sprinkle over the muffins. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

7. Serve the muffins warm with slices of maple butter to spread on.

SAVE 20 PER CENT ON LUCY AND JEMMA’S NEW BOOK

Love of Eating will be published on 12 April by Square Peg, price £25. Lucy Carr-Ellison and Jemima Jones are the founders of Tart London, a boutique-style catering company that provides healthy and delicious on-site cooking for fashion and film shoots and private events. Lucy and Jemima also write a weekly recipe column (see standard.co.uk) and are currently planning the opening of their own restaurant, scheduled for this summer – one to watch! As well as their personal stories and advice on menu planning, the book includes more than 100 brilliant, must-make recipes in their signature style. To order a copy for £20 until 22 April, visit mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.