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Pineapple-Coconut Muffins

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Yields 1 dozen muffins

  • by Joanne Chang from Fine Cooking
    Issue 77

Flaked coconut and fresh pineapple give these muffins a taste of the tropics.

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For the muffins:
  • 1 lb. (3-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 oz. (10 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh pineapple (or substitute canned pineapple, drained very well, and patted dry)
  • 3/4 cup dried, sweetened, shredded or flaked coconut
For the glaze:
  • 12-1/2 oz. (3 cups) confectioners' sugar
  • 6 Tbs. pineapple juice, more as needed
Make the muffins

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil (or spray with cooking spray) the top of a standard 12-cup muffin tin (cups should be 2-3/4 inches across and about 1 inch deep) and line with paper or foil baking cups.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, butter, milk, crème fraîche or sour cream, eggs, and egg yolk until well combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold gently with a rubber spatula just until the dry ingredients are mostly moistened (the batter will be lumpy). There should still be quite a few streaks of dry flour.

Sprinkle the pineapple and coconut onto the batter, and fold them in until just combined. (The batter will be lumpy; don’t try to smooth it out.) Do not overmix.

Use an ice cream scoop if you have one with a “sweeper” in it; otherwise, use two spoons to spoon the batter into the muffin cups, distributing all of the batter evenly. The batter should mound higher than the rim of the cups by about 3/4 inch. Bake until the muffins are golden brown and spring back lightly when you press the middle, 30 to 35 minutes. (The muffin tops will probably meld together.) Let the tin cool on a rack for 15 to 20 minutes.

Glaze the muffins

Put the confectioners’ sugar in a small mixing bowl. Add the pineapple juice and whisk until smooth. The glaze should be thin enough that it will drip off a spoon; if it’s more like a spreadable icing, thin it with more pineapple juice, 1 Tbs. at a time.

When the muffins have cooled down but are still slightly warm, use a table knife to separate the tops, and then invert the pan and pop out the muffins. Put the muffins on a rack over foil to catch any glaze that drips off. Dab the glaze on the muffins with a pastry brush, or spoon the glaze on and let it drip over the sides. It should leave a smooth, somewhat translucent coating. You may not need all of the glaze. Wait 20 to 30 minutes for the glaze to set; it won’t dry completely.

Photo: Scott Phillips

Loved these muffins. Wanted something different from the banana or chocolate and this was it. I found it took nearly 40 minutes for mine to cook due to all the moisture. I agree with the other reviews about NOT overfilling. Mine too dripped over the pan [looked like they were melting]. Next time I am under filling mine. Despite that this recipe is perfect as is.I made my own icing for these. I put about 1.5 cups powder sugar, 1 package cream cheese softened, 1 tsp of vanilla and added tablespoon of the pineapple juice left over from the recipe until it was creamy. Then I added about 1/2 cup or so of sweetened shredded coconut. Very good with or without icing!

I got this recipe to work exactly as it is suggested the second time I made it. The pineapple needs to be put in a strainer after cutting and then the juices need to be pressed out. This will give the batter the thicker consistency it needs. I used a restaurant #14 dasher (ice cream scoop) and then a number #30 for the mounding. The only thing I found off putting was the color of the glaze. It was a gray color not sure why

I got this recipe to work exactly as it is suggested the second time I made it. The pineapple needs to be put in a strainer after cutting and then the juices need to be pressed out. This will give the batter the thicker consistency it needs. I used a restaurant #14 dasher (ice cream scoop) and then a number #30 for the mounding. The only thing I found off putting was the color of the glaze. It was a gray color not sure why

These are my favorite muffins. The texture is moist and tender without being too heavy. And the flavor is just right for me - not very sweet, subtle enough to taste the butter and sour cream/creme fraiche, and a nice balance of coconut and pineapple. I have not made the glaze. I agree that the yield is is closer to 18-24 muffins. The first time I made them, I was lucky that I made a 1/2 batch and could easily spread the batter out over more muffin cups in my 12-cup tin. I filled them not quite full and they were perfect. I gave this recipe 4 instead of 5 stars only because of the yield estimate and clear instructions to fill the cups 3/4" above the rim, which is likely what led to the problems in the previous reviews. I bought the Flour cookbook based on how much I love this recipe and have been really pleased with everything I've tried.

i have to agree with KNB. maybe these taste good, but it's impossible to tell because they're burned onto the bottom of my oven right now. i followed the recipe (even weighing the ingredients), and the volume is WAY off. try making 24 regular-size muffins or 12 jumbo.

I rate this with 2 stars because with futzing, this recipe may be good. HOWEVER: (1) The size/volume of the recipe is just wrong. These muffins don't just spill over the top of the muffin pan as the recipe describes, they grow right over the edge and bake onto the bottom of the oven. This recipe probably makes 18 reasonable muffins, probably with some extra spill-over muffin top, or it might be suitable for 12 jumbo muffins. (2) Also, probably due the excessive volume, it was hard (maybe impossible) to bake these sufficiently without over-browning. I baked them until the edges of the spillover were quite dark and a toothpick inserted into a center muffin came out very clean, but the muffins, though properly risen, were somewhat pasty-feeling inside, even those along the edge of the pan. (3) Note that I made these muffins exactly as directed except for using three whole eggs instead of two and a half, and I baked them in a nearly brand new oven without significant hot spots. I did rotate the pan at the 20-minute mark. (4) Finally, I found this recipe bland. I think it needs a shot of rum or extract, lemon zest, and some spices. I love pineapple and coconut, and I don’t think the recipe would physically support more pineapple, so it needs something.

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