Unable to work squash into a recent article on using seasonal produce in herbal infusions, I decided to make squash muffins to pair with tea.
The recipe (makes 12 muffins):
- ½ pound butternut squash (peeled, seeded, and cubed)
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground gloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Bake the squash in the oven for 30 minutes, until soft.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and spices.
- In a separate bowl, mix the milk, egg, and butter together. Then stir in the squash. Fold the squash mixture into the flour mixture, and do not over mix it.
- Lightly grease your muffin pan, and then distribute the batter evenly among the cups.
- Bake for about 20 minutes in the oven. To test the muffins’ readiness, insert a toothpick into the center of a muffin. If it comes out clean, they are done. Make sure you remove the muffins from the muffin pan and let them cool on a wire rack.
I was torn. The obvious choice was some sort of chai blend, because it would contain similar spices to the recipe, and therefore complement the muffins nicely. But I also had the urge to be nibbling these muffins with a classic black tea with a touch of milk, English-style.
In the end, I went for both. The day I made the muffins, I drank English-style tea. Just like scones and pastries, the muffins were delicious companions to a nice comforting cup of afternoon tea. The following day, I had the muffins with a green chai tea. This combination was equally delicious, and the spices complemented the muffins perfectly, as expected. The green tea base made for a much lighter cup, and whereas the milk in the black tea had balanced the muffin spices, the spices in the green chai brought them out even more.
Conclusion? Both were successful pairings, and would depend on what you are looking for in your squash-inspired teatime.
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