Caramel dipped baby pears, adorable!
So fast forward to later in the week. I did use about 8 of the pears for the fruit tray. They were in fact adorable dipped in caramel. Like little gleaming gems on my fruit and cheese tray. The only problem, I still had about 3 pounds of tiny pears left over. So still with good intentions, I planned to make a pear and apple crisp with the rest. Yeah well, you know what they say about good intentions! So today, when I finally got the chance to do a little baking, I realize the pears are way too ripe for a crisp. At this point they'd disintegrate to a soggy pulp if baked. Not so good for a crisp. However, mushy fruit is great for muffins. So if you get one of those fruit boxes given to you over the holidays, here's a wonderful way to use up some of the pears.
Although I plan to try to be better in the future and not allow myself to be tempted by cuteness or a good bargain, I'm glad that I had to find a way to use the pears because these muffins are divine. They are very similar to a banana nut muffin, but with the delicate flavor of pear rather than the overwhelming flavor of banana.
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon finely minced crystallized ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg -- beaten
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup melted butter -- cooled
1 cup mashed pear pulp -- (2 or 3 soft regular sized pears or 6-8 Seckel pears)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, F.
Mash the pears.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
Chop the pecans
Beat together milk, beaten egg, butter and lemon zest and crystallized ginger. Mix pears and nuts into flour mixture. Gently stir milk mixture into dry ingredients. Batter should be lumpy, not smooth. Do not over mix.
I used a silicon pan, but a regular muffin tin is fine.
Spray muffin pans with nonstick spray. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes, until tops are browned. Remove from pan immediately, and serve warm. If you have any leftovers, which I can't imagine, they can be kept a couple of days in an airtight container, or frozen.
Gorgeous Pear Muffins
Perfect with a bit of butter and a pipping hot cup of Twinings Apple Cinnamon tea.