Katye was right in thinking that these muffins would have the aroma of the holidays to come, since allspice is one of the spices that often gets added to pumpkin pie and might even get mixed into mulled wine or cider. Thought to taste like a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, hence its name, allspice looks like a large dark peppercorn and, even though it’s not a true member of that family, it’s delicious added to a whole-spice mÃ©lange made up of black, white, green and rose peppercorns.
Like the flavors it is thought to encompass, allspice is not a wallflower addition to a recipe, so use it sparingly: just a pinch is enough to make an impact and provide a touch of mystery to a dessert. For me, allspice leans more toward clove than to cinnamon or nutmeg and this tendency makes me want to freshen it by pairing it with citrus. I listed the grated zest of 1 lemon as an option in the Allspice Crumb Muffins – hope you’ll use it. Let me know.
The above picture shows the original photo of the muffins taken by Alan Richardson for Baking From My Home to Yours.