Pear muffins with ginger sugar

September 25, 2012 § 15 Comments

Some random thoughts that occurred to me while baking and then eating these muffins:

How does fiery ginger not overpower the subtlety of pear? This works really well, and the kitchen smells like autumn right now.

Ginger is supposed to be good for the immune system right? …because I totally ate three pieces of crystallized ginger in the past ten minutes.

How come redheads are called gingers when ginger is clearly golden yellow?

Why is no one else pearperturbed by this?

This ginger sugar is so good, I should put it on pumpkin pancakes, carrot cake, baked apples, oatmeal, gingerbread… A little goes a long way though, definitely.

Even though we haven’t finished with this batch, I’m already set to try these out — they have cardamom in them!

Next time I make these, despite my amusement that I used a pair of pears, I should just add in a third one for maximum pear-ness. Is there such a thing as a pear third wheel? A plus-pear?

Pear muffins with ginger sugar

Adapted from my mom’s blueberry muffins

Makes two dozen muffins

These are really lovely warm from the oven, with a crunchy, almost spicy topping that contrasts the soft, meltingly tender pear pieces. The muffins also nice at room temperature later on, but if you can swing warming them in a toaster oven it’s so worth it.


  • One and a half cups all-purpose flour
  • One and a half cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Two and a half teaspoons baking powder
  • One teaspoon sea salt
  • One cup milk (skim works fine)
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • Three Bosc pears, peeled and diced
  • Three pieces crystallized ginger (about 1 cm square each)
  • Two eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • Additional 1/3 cup sugar, for ginger sugar topping

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two muffin tins with paper muffin liners, or grease the pan lightly to prevent sticking.

2. Mix together the dry ingredients (flours, sugar, baking powder, salt) in a large bowl.

3. In a smaller bowl, combine the milk, oil, and honey. Wash, peel, and dice up the pears (no need to obsess about the uniformity, a rough chop is fine) and transfer the pear pieces into the liquid mixture so they don’t brown.

4. Mince the crystallized ginger. Divide out approximately 1/3 of the minced crystallized ginger and mix it together with the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar for topping; set aside.

5. Gently fold the wet mixture (pears, eggs, etc.) into the dry mixture, being sure to not over-mix; a few small lumps of flour are acceptable. Ladle the batter into the muffin cups, to about 2/3 full for a decently domed muffin.

6. Sprinkle filled muffin batter cups with the ginger sugar. Bake for twenty to twenty-five minutes, or until a tester comes out clean and the tops are puffed and golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes, and enjoy!

Note: Muffins keep for a few days stored in a closed plastic bag or storage tin, though the tops won’t be quite as crunchy. All muffins freeze well, but these especially; once the muffins are thoroughly cooled, place in a freezer bag or box and freeze until needed. Then warm them through from frozen so that they come out of the toaster oven (or oven) piping hot.


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