It’s a very real possibility that pears are my favorite fruit. They’re certainly my favorite to cook with. As sturdy as an apple, but not as common in baked goods, which lends a uniqueness without losing familiarity . I came across Starkrimson pears at the farmer’s market last week and the deep red skin was too pretty to pass up.
I started off by making my own brown sugar. After seeing how simple Joy the Baker made it out to be (and with too few molasses recipes), I had to give it a shot. Like she said, it’s embarrassingly easy.
The recipe is a modified version of Pastry Affair’s Vanilla Pear Muffins and they turned out lovely. Fragrant from the vanilla and orange zest, with a perfectly soft texture from the pears that are studded throughout.
I can’t even pretend that I didn’t sneak one fresh out of the oven, even though I already had breakfast (and I’m not sorry).
Vanilla Pear Muffins (Makes 12):
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 cup light brown sugar, packed (or 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 tbsp unsulfured molasses)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 ripe pears; 1 sliced, 1 chopped
Non-stick pan spray
Preheat oven to 400 and spray . Spray muffin pan with non-stick spray.
If making your own brown sugar, pour granulated sugar into a medium-sized bowl. Add 1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses and combine with a fork until lump-free. In the base of a stand-mixer, combine brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, orange zest, melted butter, and applesauce. Mix on low until combined.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk until well combined and fold into wet mixture.
Chop one pear and thinly slice the second. Add chopped pears to batter and gently mix in. Spoon batter into muffin pan and top with sliced pear.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.