I thought I'd share my recipe for acorn muffins, since it's such an easy recipe and doesn't require a lot of acorn flour. We have these every fall and they're wonderful to use as the bread in stuffing because you really get that acorn flavor. These are very mildly sweet, like a corn muffin. The sugar helps with lightness but you could substitute honey or try leaving it out. I use different flours every time and have not found a flour it doesn't work with. The flavor changes somewhat depending on what you use with the acorn flour, but most mild flours allow the flavor of the acorn flour to shine. You can also stir in fruit and make these as breakfast muffins. Elderberries are especially nice. These are wonderful with honey butter.
You can use either hot water leached or cold water leached acorn flour for these muffins. If you use flour from roasted acorns they'll have a more robust flavor. Either way is delicious. I go into the ways to leach, process, dry and roast acorns in my acorn foraging book (affiliate link) and have 70 or 80 other recipes in there, including many other recipes for breads and muffins along with desserts, drinks, savory dishes and more.
Quick Acorn Muffins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 24 muffin tins or prepare 24 cupcake wrappers in cupcake pans.
1/2 cup sugar
4 TBS shortening, lard, butter, coconut oil, vegetable oil or a mixture of these
Beat well. In a separate bowl mix together:
1 cup acorn flour
1 cup wheat flour, rice flour or gluten free flour blend (add 1/2 tsp xanthan gum if not using wheat flour, optional)
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
Jason Hernandez wrote:Do you get different results from different kinds of acorns? I read in books about California Indians that they used some kinds for bread, and other kinds for gruel.
The taste can vary a bit, but in general, no. The flavor, fat content and proportions of nutrients will vary from species to species and even from tree to tree, but any oak variety will yield similar results.
You do get different results if you use hot water leached acorns or cold water leached acorns, since using the boiling water method gets rid of more of the fats and starches. For maximum thickening like you'd want for something like porridge or polenta, cold water processing is best. Also, the taste will vary depending on whether you dry the acorn meal or use roasted acorns. I often use roasted acorns processed with boiling water for this recipe. Roasted acorns lead to a deeper flavor and color that is nice in baked goods. Here's a picture of the difference in flour that has been dried or roasted. These are tasty with acorn flour no matter how you process it or what type of acorns you use, though. :)
Great recipe. I understand that various subspecies of oak vary in how much tannin is in the acorns and particularly out West there are ultra low tannin acorn varieties. Do you have any recommendations for any culinary acorns? How do you remove the tannin from your local acorns? Thanks for any advice.
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