Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Pear and walnut muffins

Since starting blogging, I have got braver at using fresh fruit in muffins and in creating my own recipes. I look at what other bloggers do with recipes and realise I am not held hostage by what is written on the page. It is quite liberating to make the recipe fit what is in the house rather than running around the shops at the beck and call of the cookbook.

For example, recently I had a couple of pears in the fruit bowl that were threatening to go mushy before I could eat them, so I decided to make muffins with them. The combination of pears and walnuts was inspired by seeing them paired in a chutney recipe. I checked my cookbooks for ideas and cobbled the best bits together.

The resulting muffins were a wee bit moist but tasted great. They were best warm from the oven but were getting on the soggy side the next day. I took them along to a gathering at lunchtime and they were quite welcome. But when I got home I put them in the freezer and since then have been taking them out and popping them in the microwave when I want one. So if I was to make this recipe again I think I would add a bit more flour or bake them a little longer.

These muffins are not that pretty to look at – though some fun polkadot muffin cups were helpful. But they are pleasingly spicy with the nice contrast between the soft sweet juicy pear and the gentle firmness of the walnut. Perfect for snacks or entertaining.

Pear and Walnut Muffins
Makes 48 mini muffins

1 cup plain flour
½ cup wholemeal flour (or more)
½ cup oatmeal
¼ cup brown sugar (packed)
¼ cup golden syrup
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice
⅓ cup walnuts, chopped
½ tsp ginger
¼ cup oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 pears, chopped
⅓ orange juice

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Use a whisk or fork to lightly blend wet ingredients in a small bowl. Add to dry ingredients and gently mix till just combined. It should be quite a stiff mixture because the pear will make them moist when it cooks. Spoon into mini muffin tins (either lined with muffin cups or greased.) Bake 20 minutes at 180 C.

On the Stereo:
Music from Twin Peaks: Angelo Badalamenti

6 comments:

  1. Sounds like a yummy combination. I'm really in to walnuts at the moment.

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  2. Mmm love the sound of pear and walnut muffins. I used to be a strict recipe follower but I think food blogs have also helped me to become more confident in modifying recipes.

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  3. I love playing with recipes. And these do sound good, even if a bit moist!

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  4. Pear and walnut is a nice combination of textures with one soft and one crunchy. It's good to have a use for spare pears at this time of year too. I love your story about being liberated from cookbooks!

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  5. Moist is good, I reckon! Nice to see someone using pears - they tend to be a bit forgotten about, somehow. Hooray for pear muffins!

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  6. Thanks Rachel - I bought a nice big bag of walnuts and have been enjoying using them

    Thanks Ashley - food blogs are wonderful things!

    Thanks Ricki - I love watching you play with recipes too!

    Thanks Arwen - I haven't bought many pears this year but probably should and keep this recipe on hand for when I decide they are not going to be eaten fresh!

    Thanks A Forkful - pears don't get enough baking glory, do they?

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