Here’s why I made these muffins: I had nothing better to do. (That is also why I am blogging about them at the moment.) There’s some good motivation!
I also happened to have a pound of pears to enjoy and recently came across a recipe for Pear Muffins at The Pastry Affair. I really love those muffins; we had quite the love affair, you see, me and those muffins. But I ended it because a certain Miss(ing) Ingredient got in between us. (Applesauce needs to become a kitchen staple around here).
I haven’t had the confidence that allows me to stray from obeying recipes to the letter for very long. It’s quite a new experience really, and it’s fun! I started by modifying the recipe to fit what I had in my kitchen, using the above recipe and a recipe for Apple Gingerbread Muffins from my Good Housekeeping cookbook as references. Then, I just started throwing things together in mixing bowls, at the same time as I was talking on the phone and warming up dinner. I made a nice mess, then cleaned it all up and enjoyed a muffin (What, it can count as an appetizer, right?) while trying to recount the changes I made along the way to my hasty recipe outline.
And I was thinking, it’s kind of important that I remember. I mean, like I mentioned in my last post, I am all about listening to what the ingredients are telling me and adapting the recipe as needed, but… but… but… what if these are the best muffins of all time?!?
Right? Like, what if I do some small crazy thing like spinning around twice and jumping up and down while I mix the pears in with the batter, and the muffins just turn out to be heaven in a cup? I might not ever remember that the next time around and they could never be recreated! Plus, you can’t really share a recipe you can’t remember!
So I guess I’m not quitting recipe writing all together. And this recipe is not quite done being written. I don’t think the muffins came out sweet enough, even with the maple syrup, which was the cause for me cutting back on the brown sugar. My no-sweet-eating husband will be happy, and I suppose I am still happy, too! They actually turned out looking like muffins, woo hoo!
Alas, I learned quite a few things here. One, it’s important to stay focused on what you are doing; encourage mindfulness but not forgetfulness. Two, be confident enough to take chances; you might surprise yourself with a little success and boost to your self-esteem.
Ginger Pear Muffins
*Note: To improve this recipe next time around, I would increase the brown sugar and add candied ginger.
1 medium pear, peeled and finely diced (I used Bartlett here!)
½ teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons candied ginger, finely chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup old-fashioned oats
¼ cup brown sugar (increase to ½ or ¾ cup)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup sour cream
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 extra-large egg
½-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line or lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
Toss pear, lemon zest, and candied ginger together in a small bowl. In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, oats, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ground ginger. In a separate mixing bowl, combine maple syrup, sour cream, melted butter, egg, and fresh ginger. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to combine. Fold in pears.
Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack, and enjoy!