I have had a box of ripe pears, given by a friend whose mother has two prolific pear trees, sitting in my basement for a while, and Saturday afternoon I decided it was time to make something with the pears or be forced to throw them out. I decided to try Ginger Pear Muffins, a recipe that came from the friend who gave me the pears. I had a little trouble here and there, but, to my delight, they turned out delicious.
The hardest part of the process was peeling and chopping the pears. They were so soft that it was difficult to grip them or core them, and juice was flying everywhere. But eventually I got the job done. I also had to create my own “buttermilk” by adding a tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of milk. Finally, with different amounts of brown sugar called for in the muffin mix and the topping, I wound up using the wrong amount for the muffin mix itself and then having to figure out how much more I needed to make the amount approximately correct.
I would have been entirely happy with this cooking episode except that my sons refused to eat the muffins. Neeley wouldn’t eat a bite even when Chris and I tried shoving one into his mouth. Jonah took one bite, then said, “These aren’t good muffins,” and when told to eat more, he managed to gag several times at the taste of a bit of pear and actually vomited the muffin onto the table. The incident soured my baking victory somewhat.
I probably could have gotten Jonah to eat the muffin if I had rewarded him with a candy bar. But it just doesn’t feel right to reward a child with one sweet for eating another sweet. Somehow, I am going to have to teach the boys to appreciate home-baked treats.
Below is the final recipe, including possible substitutes for buttermilk.
Ginger Pear Muffins
2 ½ cups cups(625 mL) all-purpose flour (625 mL)
1 tsp(5 mL) baking soda (5 m
1 tsp(5 mL) (5 mL) ground ginger
½ tsp(2 mL) salt(2 mL) sss
½ tsp (2 mL) cinnamon(2 mL)
¾ cup (175 mL) (175 mL) packed brown sugar
1/3 cup (75 mL) vegetable oil
1 cup (250 mL) buttermilk (or milk mixed with 1 T vinegar or lemon juice or ¾ tsp cream of tartar)
2cups (500 mL) chopped peeled pears
1/3 cup(75 mL) packed brown sugar
2 tsp(10 mL) butter, melted
1/4 tsp(1 mL) ground ginger
In bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, ginger, salt and cinnamon. In separate bowl, whisk brown sugar with oil; whisk in egg and buttermilk. Pour over dry ingredients; sprinkle with pears and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon batter into greased or paper-lined muffin cups.
Topping: In bowl, combine brown sugar, butter and ginger; sprinkle over batter in muffin cups.
Bake in center of 350°F (180°C) oven until tops are firm to the touch, about 25 minutes.