Monday, September 5, 2011

Ginger Pear Muffins

One thing I am fairly conscientious about is wasting food. I constantly find ways to use fruits and vegetables that have ripened past my liking. Below is a great example.

Have pears that are ripe past your liking? Make Ginger - Pear Muffins

By now you have figured out I love Mollie Katzen, I own all her cookbooks and sift through them on a regular basis to find the next great recipe.

"Studded with tiny pieces of sweet pear and even tinier bits of crystallized ginger - and laced throughout with gentle heat from grated fresh ginger-these muffins are quite heavenly."

Yield: 8 to 10 muffins
Preparation Time: 15 minutes, plus 20 to 25 minutes to bake (mine baked at 20 minutes just fine)

Nonstick Spray
1 cup finely chopped ripe pear (fresh, peeled)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 - 1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/3 cup very finely minced crystallized ginger
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 to 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray 8 standard muffin cups with nonstick spray.
2. Place the chopped pear in a shallow dish, drizzle with the lemon juice, and set aside.
3. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, and lemon zest in a medium sized bowl. Stir in the minced crystallized ginger, then comb through the mixture with your fingers to seek out any larger pieces. Cut them into even smaller pieces with scissors.
4. Measure the 1 cup buttermilk into a 2-cup liquid measure. Add the egg, fresh ginger, and vanilla, and beat gently with a fork or a small whisk until smooth.
5. slowly pour this mixture, along with the melted butter, into the dry ingredients. Using a spoon or a rubber spatula, stir from the bottom of the bowl until the dry ingredients are all moistened. Don't over mix; a few lumps are okay. Fold in the pears.
6. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. For smaller muffins, fill the cups about four-fifths full. For larger muffins, fill them up to the top. If you have extra batter, spray one or two additional muffin cups with non stick spray and fill with the remaining batter.
7. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven, then remove the muffins from the pan and place them on a rack to cool. Wait at least 30 minutes before serving.

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