I have a love/hate relationship with pears. Admittedly, they can be gorgeous to behold, all fall-like in their appearance. It makes me want to take a juicy bite out of one before I even leave the store. Unfortunately, I've been betrayed more than once by that beauty, ending up with hard or mealy fruit. Then, I luck into just the right one, and with juice dribbling down my chin, I fall in love with them all over again.
I had some of the good ones on hand the other day when I came up with another muffin recipe. This one combines those fresh, ripe pears with some ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg for a perfectly moist little
Spiced Pear Muffins with Candied Ginger
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus an additional 2 tablespoons for topping
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chopped, fresh pears (about 2 medium)
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons minced, candied ginger
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.; line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, spices, and salt. In another bowl, stir together the chopped pears, buttermilk, butter, egg, and vanilla. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry, stirring until just mixed, being careful to not over beat. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins. Combine the remaining sugar and the minced candied ginger and sprinkle evenly over the muffin tops.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool on a wire rack.
I had nearly forgotten about this little jar of candied ginger--it was perfect for the topping.
How do you like your pears?