Friday, December 11, 2009

Cranberry upside-down muffins (diabetic version)

Fresh cranberries are a great treat in the fall. The challenge is, a year later, when I'm faced with still-frozen ones from the year before.

It's difficult finding cranberry recipes that aren't calling for dried cranberries. This recipe uses fresh (or in my case, defrosted cranberries) and is based on one I found on the Food Network's site. Taking in the account a few missing directions and a couple of subsitutions, I came up with a more diabetic-friendly way to use up those leftover cranberries. The muffins were gone by lunchtime.

Cranberry Upside-Down Muffins (reduced-sugar version)

2 cups cranberries, picked over and rinsed
3/4 cup Splenda
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 large egg
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup milk

In a saucepan combine the cranberries, 1/2 cup Splenda, the sugar and the nutmeg, cook the mixture over moderately high heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved, and boil it, covered, for 3 minutes. Simmer the mixture, uncovered, stirring, for 3 minutes and let it cool.

Into a bowl sift together the flour, the baking powder, the remaining 1/4 cup Splenda, cinnamon, orange rind, and salt. In another bowl whisk together the egg, butter and milk, add the mixture to the flour mixture, and stir the batter until it is just combined.

Divide the cranberry mixture among 12 well-buttered muffin tins, top it with the batter, and bake the muffins in the middle of a preheated 400 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until they are golden. Let the muffins cool in the tins for 2 minutes and invert them onto a rack.

Note: The original recipe did call for buttering the muffin tips. I used liners instead and it was an awful mess. The writers are also serious about inverting the muffins - otherwise the juice collects at the bottom and makes the tops of the muffins mushy. Despite our culinary challenges, they were gobbled up by lunchtime!

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