There's nothing like home baking for breakfast or brunch. These muffins, developed by my assistant, Eshun Mott, are sweet and moist thanks to the addition of puréed prunes instead of larger amounts of sugar and fat. They were still delicious two days after we made them.
We used natural bran instead of processed bran cereal. The flavour is much better if you toast the bran first. Place bran on a baking sheet and toast in a 350 F oven for 6 minutes or until fragrant.
Servings: Makes 12 large muffins.
1 cup pitted prunes
½ cup water
3 cups natural bran, toasted
1½ cups buttermilk
¾ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole-wheat flour
1½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup raisins or dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350F. Combine water and prunes in a small pot over medium heat. Simmer 7 minutes or until prunes are very soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Transfer prunes and water to a food processor and purée.
Combine bran, prune purée, buttermilk, eggs, oil, lemon zest and sugar in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir just until combined.
Transfer batter into well-greased muffin tins. Bake 20 minutes or until firm to the touch.