By Barbara Mayhew

Cranberries grow in Prince Edward Island and are a versatile food. I remember as a small child going with my mother and grandmother to pick wild cranberries. In the fall, these berries were highly sought after. We used them fresh in cranberry sauce and froze them for use over the winter months.

The cranberries used in this recipe were grown in Farmington, near Souris, in the eastern part of P.E.I. A visit to Mikita Farms to watch the wet-harvesting of the cranberries got my creative juices flowing and inspired this recipe. I like to know where my food comes from, and being able to watch the cranberry harvest and then stop by the stand at the farm gate to buy the berries, meant I was able to use the freshest local produce available.

Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffins, Courtesy of Barbara Mayhew,  myislandbistrokitchen.com, Charlottetown

These muffins combine cranberries with eggnog – two classic winter flavours.

CranberryEggnogMuffins

Prep time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 45 minutes
Yield: 12-14 standard-size muffins

Ingredients
1 cup (250 mL) cranberries (fresh or frozen), coarsely chopped
1½ Tbsp (20 mL) sugar
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
1 cup (250 mL) whole-wheat flour
⅔ cup (150 mL) lightly packed brown sugar
¼ cup (50 mL) rolled oats
1½ Tbsp (20 mL) baking powder
½ tsp (2 mL) baking soda
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
½ tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
¼ tsp (1 mL) nutmeg
⅛ tsp (0.5 mL) allspice
1 Tbsp (15 mL) grated orange rind
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
¾ cup (175 mL) eggnog
½ cup + 1 tbsp (125 mL + 15 mL) vegetable oil
⅓ cup (75 mL) mashed banana
¼ cup (50 mL) orange juice
2 Tbsp (30 mL) maple syrup
1½ tsp (7 mL) vanilla
Streusel
¼ cup + 2 tbsp (80 mL) all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp (45 mL) brown sugar
½ tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
3 Tbsp (45 mL) butter
2 Tbsp (30 mL) chopped pecans

Directions
Streusel
1. In medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.
2. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in pecans. Set aside.
Muffins
1. Preheat oven to 450°F (230ºC). Grease muffin tin, including top of tin.
2. In small bowl, sprinkle chopped cranberries with 1½ tbsp sugar. Toss lightly to coat cranberries. Set aside.
3. In large bowl, combine all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, brown sugar, rolled oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and orange rind. Mix well. Set aside.
4. In liquid measure, stir together egg, eggnog, oil, mashed banana, orange juice, maple syrup and vanilla. Whisk together.
5. Pour wet ingredients into well in centre of dry ingredients. Stir just until dry ingredients are barely incorporated. Do not overmix. Gently fold in the sugared cranberries.
6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, filling almost to top. Sprinkle with streusel mixture.
7. Transfer muffins to oven and immediately reduce heat to 400ºF (200ºC). Bake 20 to 22 minutes, or until muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
8. Let muffins rest in muffin tins for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack.

My Island Bistro Kitchen
My blog focuses on local Maritime foods and beverages, with a particular concentration on those produced in P.E.I. In addition to sharing my own recipes, I write stories about local food and beverage producers and feature their products in recipes that I share on my blog.