Sunday, April 22, 2012
Pear Almond Muffins
In the parallel universe that exists only in my brain, muffins are healthy and acceptable to eat at every meal, chubby women are hailed as goddesses of beauty, and all matters of justice are handled by Atticus Finch, Detective Stabler, Batman, and The Doctor. This blog is really only equipped to handle the muffin issue.
A few months ago, I had a really delicious pear muffin at a bakery near my house, and then a really delicious almond muffin at a different bakery. I have since been obsessed with developing a hybrid of the two. This is what I've come up with.
(For a printable version of this recipe, click here)
Pear Almond Muffins - Yield 10-12 muffins
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sugar (+ extra for topping)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 sliced almonds, toasted and ground (+ extra for topping)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 cup chopped fresh pear
Step #1- Preheat oven to 450* F.
Step #2- Toast sliced almonds in a frying pan. This is done by turning the stove to medium heat and gently circulating the almonds around the pan with a spoon until the nuts take on a light brown, toasted, color. You will smell a 'toasted' aroma, as well. As soon as the almonds are toasted, remove the pan from the head and remove the almonds from the pan. Allow them to cool.
Step #3 - Grind almonds using a food processor. They should be the texture of kosher salt when they are done.
Step #4 - Combine chopped pears and grated ginger in a bowl and set aside.
Step #5 - Combine ground almonds, flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
Step #6 - Combine egg, butter, sugar and vanilla in a separate bowl.
Step #7- Add milk and flour mixture to the egg/sugar mixture; mix with a spoon (not a mixer) until well incorporated. This is best done in four installments, starting with the flour and alternating with the milk.
Step #8 - Fold the pears/ginger into the batter.
Step #10 - Bake at 450* for 7 minutes, then reduce heat to 350* and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean. Starting the baking process at the higher temperature and then lowering it will help the muffins achieve nice, peaked, rounded tops. Once removed from the oven, allow to cool enough to be touched before transferring to a cooling rack until cooled completely. These freeze very well.