I’ve never really cared for you. Sorry. Can we talk about it?
You’re just so… bland. Kind of boring. And really rough around the edges.
Did I just see you give me the evil eye? Ugh.
What am I supposed to do with you?
Couldn’t you at least throw on some lip gloss and run a brush through your hair?
I really want to make this work.
Ok, I’ve got it. I’m going to soften you up a tad – just boil you for a little bit.
And then, brown butter. Ah, yes.
I ask you: what problem can’t be solved with a little brown butter?
Don’t you feel better now, lil’ jícama?
You look a lot better.
You’re ready for your close up?
I thought so.
Dang! Glamour Shot!
I’m so happy that we’ve made our peace.
Candied Jícama Muffins
2 c. dark brown sugar, tightly packed
1 c. canola oil
2 large eggs
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. buttermilk
3 c. jícama (see below for notes on preparation)
1/2 c. white sugar, granulated
1/4 c. unsalted butter
1 1/4 c. sultanas (golden raisins)
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare the jícama, peel off the tough skin, being sure to remove the thick, fibrous layer of flesh immediately adjacent to the skin. Cut the flesh into an approximate 1/4″ dice. You will need 3 cups of diced jícama. Place pieces into a pot of boiling water and boil until the pieces are slightly tender at the edges but still generally firm, approximately 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, cream the brown sugar and canola oil in a large bowl. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed sugar, alternating with the buttermilk, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary and beating until just incorporated.
When the jícama is ready, drain it and allow it to cool slightly. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn. After a few minutes the butter will color slightly and emit a nutty aroma. At this point, as the butter is about halfway to browning perfection, add the jícama and white sugar, stirring regularly to allow all of the jícama pieces to become well-coated and to make sure that the butter browns but does not burn. Cook the mixture for just a few more minutes, stirring and tossing regularly. Remove the candied jícama to a paper towel-lined colander to cool and drain.
Line a muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
Fold the raisins into the batter and, once it has cooled, fold in the jícama pieces as well. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin – you will want to fill each cavity to just below the top lip of the liner.
Bake the muffins for 23-25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool slightly before unmolding.
YIELD: 24 muffins